From Humble Beginnings, Islam Now Has 1.4 Billion Followers

These pamphlets are signed by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who converted to Islam in the 1960s.

By Jim O’Neal

Revered by Muslims as the prophet of the Islamic faith, Muhammad laid the foundations for the emergence of the Islamic Empire. He was the religion’s political and military leader as much as its spiritual head. He was born in Mecca in 570 after the death of his father. His mother died when he was 6, so he was left in the care of an uncle, who employed him to manage caravans trading with Syria.

In his late 30s, he made regular prayer trips to a cave in Mount Hira, where he eventually received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. He began preaching and slowly gained a small but loyal following.

Exiled from Mecca in 622 because of his faith, he traveled to Yathrib (on a journey that became known as the Hijra), where he gained vast numbers of new followers and ultimately organized the city into a unified Islamic capital. The city was renamed Medina (“the City of the Prophet”) and Muhammed created a constitution for the state – the Constitution of Medina – which formed the basis of an Islamic tradition.

The Constitution addressed the rights and duties of every group within the community, the rule of law and the issue of war. It recognized the Jewish community of Medina and agreed to mutual obligations with them. Among its edicts was a requirement that all religious members fight as one force if the community came under threat.

The intent was to ensure peace within Medina, while Muhammad gathered followers and soldiers to conquer the Arabian Peninsula. “Whenever you differ about a matter, it must be referred to God and to Muhammad.” Since God spoke through Muhammad, his word carried unquestioned authority.

Islam is the name of the religion (such as Judaism and Christianity), while “Islamic” is an adjective and does not refer to a person. A follower of Islam is a Muslim, and the majority believe the Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet of God, according to the Quran and hadiths (prophetic sayings). Muslims overwhelmingly revere Jesus, and the Quran emphasizes Jesus was a great prophet of God, but, like other prophets, was only a human being.

By the time of Muhammad’s death in 632, nearly all the people of Arabia were Muslims, and today, 1.4 billion across the world are devout followers. More than 50 countries boast of having majority Muslim populations.

Intelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is president and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

Early Broadcast Advertising was Shunned … Until Listeners Demanded More

A $12 ticket could get you into the first Super Bowl in 1967. This full-ticket example, a Gold Variation graded PSA NM-MT 8, sold for $26,290 at a May 2015 Heritage auction.

By Jim O’Neal

In 1967, the cost to air a 30-second commercial in the first Super Bowl was about $40,000. Nearly two weeks ago in Super Bowl LI, the cost had increased to $5 million and fans were eager to see the latest creative efforts of Corporate America to hawk their products on TV. Ads are everywhere we look. They pop up on our computers and iPads and are common on race cars, golf apparel and sports stadiums. The Nike swoosh is instantly recognized.

It was not always this way, at least on radio.

During the early days, many radio stations had a practice of observing a weekly “silent night” when they would go off the air. However, the trend was definitely in the opposite direction as listeners were seeking more programming than the stations could produce. This led to hybrid programs combining content with advertising. Early high-profile examples included The Maxwell House Hour (the No. 1 coffee in the U.S.), General Motors Family Party, and The Ipana Troubadours from Bristol Myers toothpaste.

But the issue of regulation hovered over radio like a dark cloud. Some argued for total government control as was the practice in Britain. An even more vigorous debate erupted over commercial advertising. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover asserted it would kill radio. After all, how many listeners would stay by their radios to learn about the advantages of one soap over another? (Quite a few, it turned out.) He argued for the industry to adopt self-policing policies to curtail advertising excesses.

However, broadcasters were salivating over the new revenues and wanted even more. Finally, in 1926, an NBC variety show was interrupted for a special promotional announcement from Dodge cars and it encountered little audience objections. From this point forward, commercial breaks during regular programs were the norm.

Advertising became an integral part of radio broadcasting and never hesitated again.

Some early sponsors did worry about being too aggressive and carefully chose tasteful, discreet language … “Swift & Co has a few practical hints on how to lower your meat bills.” That quickly changed once they discovered consumer-crazy citizens of the 1920s were eager to embrace radio advertising. Far from being insulted, people desperately wanted to hear the messages. They wanted to stay hip, keep up with the latest technologies and the most modern forms of behavior.

A hundred years later, I have a smart phone with more computing power than an Apollo mission, that can hold all my music and trace my ancestry. But after spending most of my life chasing larger screen TVs, I do object to watching my programs on my watch!

Must be a generational thing. Times change.

Intelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is president and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

St. Louis World’s Fair Striking in its Arrogance of America’s Place in Humanity

This 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics gold medal, awarded to four-mile men’s relay winner George B. Underwood, sold for $38,837.50 at a May 2013 Heritage auction.

By Jim O’Neal

America in 1900 was a provincial society of 76 million citizens. It is hard to contemplate a place of such innocence … a nation of dirt roads and horse-drawn carriages, of tight corsets and Victorian pretensions, of kerosene lamps and outhouses, of top hats and bowlers, McGuffey Readers and The Ladies’ Home Journal.

Cities were crowded with smoke-filled men’s clubs and ornate-paneled bars, while country towns were still home to 60 percent of the population, villages of stark simplicity and virtue. The average American had but five years of schooling and the nation only recently had made dramatic strides in improving literacy. Yet even in the absence of sophistication, most people were convinced America and its people were God’s chosen few.

The St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 (the Louisiana Purchase Exposition), commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase (a year late), was striking in its arrogance of America’s place in humanity. In addition to the ice cream cone, hamburger/hot dog, and iced tea – all introduced here – the fair featured an anthropology exhibition to explain human progress via the general increase in the size of the human cranium, the principle of “cephalization.”

Anthropologist W.J. McGee designed a display of pygmies from Africa, Patagonian giants from Argentina, and Native Americans in ethnological settings – purportedly to demonstrate the peak of upward human development from savagery to barbarism to civilization. The implicit message was the distinctive American alchemy that had transformed people to a higher state of being.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a furious competition between scientists and pseudoscientists around the world to discover evolution’s “missing link.” All of them turned out to be bogus. The 1868 discovery in Albany, N.Y., of the Cardiff Giant turned out to be a gypsum statue aged with an acid bath. Then P.T. Barnum constructed his own Cardiff Giant, which he exhibited at his circus (a hoax of a hoax).

In perhaps the most celebrated of discoveries, Britain’s Piltdown Man, “unearthed in 1912,” established England as the cradle of civilization for 40 years. Then it was declared a phony, a mixture of orangutan bones assembled by an amateur paleontologist eager for fame.

Today, we still don’t know exactly how life began, but we do know, finally, how we got from there to here. One thing is certain: The path went through that 1904 fair in St. Louis – and I wish I had been there to attend the first Olympic Games held in the United States, eat a hot dog and end up in one of those bars with a mug of cold beer.

Intelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is president and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

Hitler’s Seduction of German People was Sudden, Complete

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Adolf Hitler is among the figures featured in Gum Inc.’s 1938 “Horrors of War” trading card series. A complete set (288 cards) sold for $2,390 at a November 2011 Heritage auction.

By Jim O’Neal

The same winter President Roosevelt came to power in the United States, another leader in Europe assumed his country’s highest office. Over the next 12 years, until their deaths just two weeks apart in 1945, the lives of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler would grow increasingly intertwined … drawn together as archenemies in a conflict that was the 20th century’s most grotesque and widespread event.

Even all these years later, the rise of Hitler still baffles. His seduction of the German people was so sudden and complete, his assumption of power so total, that he defies comparison with history’s other evil conquerors. One German philosopher called him an “error” in history, as if the Fates had been distracted while a deadly mutant virus took hold.

Both FDR and Hitler’s journey to power was propelled by a world economic collapse.

Along with America and most of Europe, Germany suffered a Great Depression, with unemployment reaching 25 percent. If it had been hunger alone, the people may have followed a very different kind of leader. But Hitler’s enormous popularity was also a product of Germany’s lingering desire for revenge.

Despite Germany’s surrender in 1918 (an armistice arranged by the Reichstag, not the Army), few accepted the fact that they had been defeated in World War I. Hitler was from Bavaria, a haven for right-wing nationalists, and he railed against the forces of Judaism and Bolshevism, while mocking the fragile Weimar government as “November Criminals” for acceptance of the armistice.

After the complete breakdown of the economy in 1930, the passion of resentment and revenge gained momentum to include students, professors and businessmen. Hitler’s anti-Semitic message resonated with a deep suspicion of money cartels and the perceived unjust punishment from the Versailles agreement. The campaign moved with the speed of a plague.

The Nazi bible was Mein Kampf, a two-volume treatise started by Hitler while in prison for the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, a bungled attempt to control Bavaria. As the movement gained in favor, Mein Kampf (My Struggle) became a best-seller and provided Hitler with a cloak of legitimacy. Still, it was Hitler’s voice, not his pen, that fueled the emotional appeal of the Nazi movement. In a brilliant insight, he grasped that the pain of the German people could be harnessed in a unique way. They had been victimized by the depression, humiliated by Versailles, robbed by chronic inflation and their spirit had devolved into despair, fear and resentment.

Hitler’s extraordinary oratory provided a powerful reassurance that they were a great people, their suffering unjust and he promised an improved life while those who were responsible for their pain would be punished. His two-hour speeches could hold a crowd of half-a-million people spellbound. It mattered not what he said, but how he said it. They were thrilled by the pageantry, the sense of historical inevitability and blind faith that Germany would rise again. It was only a short journey from here to another war of conflagration with even greater magnitude than the last.

The people were eager to get it started and so it came.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is president and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

President Taft Often Bypassed Journalists to Speak Directly to American People

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A 1910 Chicago Cubs team-signed book presented to President Taft sold for $43,020 at an August 2016 Heritage auction. Two months earlier, Taft launched the “Presidential first pitch” tradition at an opening-day game in Washington, D.C.

By Jim O’Neal

It took William Howard Taft time to actually realize he was president of the United States. He told close friends that anytime someone said “Mr. President,” he would look around expecting to see Teddy Roosevelt. Or when he read headlines that the president and a senator had a meeting, his first thought was, “I wonder what they talked about.”

Of course, anyone who succeeded TR would inevitably seem dull and uninspired, but the 6-foot-2 Taft, with his walrus moustache and 300-pound girth, was so ponderous, it exaggerated the differences. Although Roosevelt had retired, his presence hovered beyond the door of every room, and he was the unseen figure at the conference table when Taft sat in council with his political associates.

During Roosevelt’s years in the White House, the American people had come to expect the president to be in every edition of the daily newspapers. Taft made little effort to promote himself, virtually ignoring the press. When they complained, Taft dismissed it, saying he had been elected by the people, not the press. He intended to give his news in speeches directly to the people, not in releases to journalists. (He would have loved Twitter, like you know who).

That was not the only difference between the presidential styles.

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William Howard Taft oil portrait by Emily Burling Waite.

Taft was slow and soft-spoken and believed the time had come to work behind the scenes for “affirmative legislation.” Taft also held the law sacred, while Roosevelt had not hesitated to stretch it if necessary. Roosevelt used diplomacy to strengthen national power, while Taft viewed national power as an asset to be used in diplomacy. The “Big Stick” of Roosevelt yielded to Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy” to help American commerce worldwide.

Suddenly, it was no longer the Roosevelt White House.

Even Mrs. Taft made her mark in a hurry. Helen Herron Taft, born in the first year of the Civil War, was 47 at the time of the election. Quick-witted and energetic, she was less a charmer than him and more of a pusher when it came to having her way. Unlike most other first ladies, she was politically savvy and influenced her husband’s activities in all major decisions.

Mrs. Taft had spent time observing the White House during the Roosevelt years, and knew how to make needed changes. During Taft’s governorship of the Philippines, she had learned at Malacañan Palace, with its 125 servants, that a strong administrative structure would free her from daily household obligations. No previous first lady brought experience of that sort to the White House. She had unlimited personal freedom and used it liberally.

Alas, time zipped by and Taft proved ill-equipped to cope with the political patronage. Worse, he committed the error of angering Roosevelt – the man who had literally put him in the job – and TR wrecked the Republican Party to prevent “Big Bill” Taft from having a second term. Upon leaving the White House, the 55-year-old Taft accepted an appointment as a law professor at Yale and then finally was granted his lifelong dream of being on the Supreme Court (appointed by Warren G. Harding). When Chief Justice Edward White died, Taft was swiftly appointed Chief Justice.

“All’s well the ends well.”

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

Reagan’s Last Christmas in Office Marked by Memorable Snowy Fairyland

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A photograph signed by Ronald Reagan with the inscription “Win one for the Gipper” sold for $8,365 at a November 2014 Heritage auction. It’s considered the most famous line Reagan spoke on the silver screen, in 1940’s Knute Rockne, All American.

By Jim O’Neal

In 1980, Ronald Wilson Reagan became the oldest man (69) to be elected president. He extended his record in 1984 when he was reelected at age 73. For their last Christmas in the White House, the Reagans wanted to make a splash. The East Room was transformed into a snowy fairyland, with full-size trees and a gift-filled sleigh occupied by carolers and drawn by lifelike horses, all powdered with glittery “snow.” It was a vintage Hollywood image.

Thousands of visitors filed by and looked on in both delight and amazement at the dazzling scene. Nothing remotely like this had ever been seen in the White House. It was a playful farewell by two whose roots were as firmly planted in Hollywood as John F. Kennedy’s were in Boston or Lyndon B. Johnson’s on the banks of the Pedernales River.

On his final day in office, Jan. 20, 1989, President Reagan went to the Oval Office early and met with his Chief-of-Staff Ken Duberstein and General Colin Powell, the National Security Advisor. Both of them said reassuringly, “Mr. President, the world is quiet today.” After they left, Reagan also left the office, stopping at the door for one last look. George and Barbara Bush were arriving in the entrance hall below.

On the route from the Capitol to the White House, the incoming President George H.W. Bush and first lady took a cue from the Carters, leaving their car from time to time to walk along Pennsylvania Avenue to greet the crowds. They walked up the driveway on the same path all their predecessors had followed since James Monroe’s second term, 168 years before.

History linked the inauguration of George H.W. Bush and George Washington. It had been exactly 200 years since the first president began serving his first term.

President Bush had an extensive background that included two terms in Congress, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, liaison to China, and eight full years as vice president. He had easily defeated Michael Dukakis to win the presidency, but in the process famously declared “Read my lips. No new taxes!” – words that would haunt him.

Although favored for reelection in 1992, he got caught in a buzz saw when third-party candidate Ross Perot siphoned off nearly 19 percent of the popular vote and a young governor from Arkansas won with a plurality of 43 percent. William Jefferson Clinton and Al Gore Jr. became the youngest president and vice president in history.

George H.W. Bush became the 10th incumbent president to lose in a bid for reelection after becoming the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836.

The strange world of presidential politics. We love it.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

 

‘Outlined Against a Blue, Gray October Sky … the Four Horsemen’

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After being nicknamed the “Four Horsemen,” a Notre Dame publicity aide made arrangements to set up this photo. Signed by Don Miller, Elmer Layden, Jim Crowley and Harry Stuhldreher, this original photograph sold for $5,975 in November 2013.

By Jim O’Neal

In 1941, Elmer Layden left Notre Dame to become the first commissioner of the NFL.

If that name sounds familiar, it is probably because he was one of the “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.”

Layden’s teammates included Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller and Jim Crowley. Coach Knute Rockne had devised the line-up in 1922, but it took the great sportswriter Grantland Rice to ensure their immortality after a 13-7 victory over Army in 1924.

Rice penned the most famous line in the history of sports journalism:

“Outlined against a blue, gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again.”

All four players were elected (easily) to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.

●●●

There has been a debate about who had the worst temper in tennis … John McEnroe or Jimmy Conners.

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Conners

In 1986, Conners threw one of his famous tantrums in the fifth set of the semi-finals in the Lipton International Players Championships.

After a close call, he first stormed over to the umpire’s chair. No relief. Then, he began ranting and screaming while running around the court. Still no help. Finally, when it seemed clear that the call would stand, he took his racket, packed his gear and left the court.

The effect was a forfeit of the match to opponent Ivan Lendl, who had been quietly observing the antics. Later, Conner was fined $5,000.

●●●

In May 1955 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Charlie Dumas high-jumped 6 feet 9½ inches and won the California State High School championship. In the process, he broke the all-time U.S. National Inter-Scholastic Record by 4½ inches. Don’t recall where I was … probably at the beach.

However, on June 29, 1956, I picked him up and we drove to the same Los Angeles Coliseum for the U.S. Olympic trials. Our tickets were not at the box office as promised, and we both had to pay a 25-cent admission.

It was worth it.

Not only did Charlie qualify, on his third and last jump, he set a new world record and became the first person in history to high jump the magical 7 feet.

He then won the Olympic gold medal at the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne, and set another world record.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

The Highs, the Lows, the Record-Breakers of Professional Sports

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This signed 1940 Playball Grover Cleveland Alexander #119 SGC Authentic will be auctioned by Heritage Auctions on Nov. 17.

By Jim O’Neal

In 1949, police in Hollywood, Calif., discovered what appeared to be just another drunk unconscious in an alley. Upon further investigation, it turned out to be Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander (nicknamed “Ol’ Pete” for reasons unknown).

Despite a lifelong battle with epilepsy and alcoholism, he managed to win 373 games. (Ronald Reagan portrayed him in the 1952 film The Winning Team with Doris Day. The movie was widely panned.)

Alexander still holds the National League record of 90 shutouts, but he couldn’t shut out the booze and died the next year at age 63, penniless and homeless.

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Larry Bird’s game-worn 1979-80 Boston Celtics rookie uniform sold for $22,705 in July 2014.

Larry Joe Bird was a member of the 1992 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team (The Dream Team) that won gold in Barcelona.

Bird was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Not bad for a kid from French Lick, Ind., who was drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics, where he was a 12-time NBA All Star.

He is the only player in NBA history to be named MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year (he ran out of categories, apparently).

The first post-1900, modern-day pitcher to strike out 18 batters in a single game was Bob Feller.

Tom Cheney holds the all-time record of 21 strikeouts (1962), but it was a 16-inning game.

Perhaps more impressive are the 20 strikeouts in nine innings by Kerry Wood (1998) and Randy Johnson in 2001, something that Roger Clemens did twice … in 1986 and again in 1996.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

 

For Champions, Doing the Impossible is Always Possible

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Roger Staubach’s 1972 Topps rookie card, graded PSA Mint 9, sold for $14,340 at an August 2016 Heritage auction.

By Jim O’Neal

There were only 32 seconds left in a 1975 playoff game and the Dallas Cowboys seemed hopelessly beaten, trailing the Minnesota Vikings 14 to 10, with no timeouts and the ball at midfield.

Roger Staubach lofted a bomb to Drew Pearson, which he caught with one hand, the ball pinned to his hip, and made it into the end zone.

After the 17-14 win, Staubach said, “You throw it up and pray he catches it. I guess it’s a Hail Mary pass.”

And that’s exactly what such plays are still called today.

♦♦♦

It was July 1976 and the location was the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal.

A 14-year-old gymnast from Romania had just completed one of the team compulsory events on the uneven bars. The routine looked great until her score was posted: 1.00.

nadia-comaneciEveryone was confused until they realized the scoreboard clock should have displayed 10.00, a feat that had never been achieved in modern Olympic history. Then the crowd went wild.

It seems that Omega had been instructed to assemble a clock with only three digits as a four-digit score was considered impossible. So when all the judges awarded Nadia Comaneci all 10s … well, you get it.

She would earn a 10.00 six more times. And since the minimum age limit to compete is now 16, it appears she has a few records that will never be equaled.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].

Jack Johnson at the Center of 1910’s Sports Spectacle

1910 Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Dana Postcards Lot of 118
A group of 118 postcards from the 1910 Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries match sold for $6,572.50 at an October 2006 Heritage auction.

By Jim O’Neal

On the Fourth of July in 1910, the sleepy little frontier town of Reno, Nev., became the setting for a dramatic sporting event that riveted the nation. “Reno Now Center of the Universe” read the headline in the Chicago Tribune. John Arthur “Jack” Johnson, the first black boxing heavyweight champion of the world, was going to fight James Jackson Jeffries for the title.

Jim “The Boilermaker” Jeffries had retired as undefeated champion six years earlier and he had been lured back into the ring to prove that the Johnson championship was a fluke and white boxers were still the best in the world. Emotions were running high and Jeffries was being billed as the “Great White Hope” to restore white pride.

What many didn’t know was that Jeffries was about 130 pounds overweight despite working on his alfalfa farm, and Johnson was the epitome of a world-class athlete in prime condition. There was so much hype that it was estimated over $3 million would be wagered.

The stage for the bout had been set two years earlier when Johnson had defeated Tommy Burns in Australia, prompting calls for Jeffries to restore the indignity suffered by the white race. Since then, Johnson had further alienated whites with his flashy manner, strutting confidence, lavish spending and cavorting with women. Novelist and journalist Jack London wrote several articles trying to coach Jeffries out of retirement with a rallying cry of “Jeff, it’s up to you!”

Some 20,000 people crowded into the arena for “The Fight of the Century” and most of them were Jeffries fans. When Johnson entered the ring first (it was a superstition), he was wearing a gray business suit over his boxing trunks, with an aide shielding him from the blinding 110-degree sun with a 5-foot-round paper shade. According to The New York Times the crowd gasped when he stripped to his fighting attire.

The Great White Hope (20th Century Fox, 1970). Lobby Card
James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander starred in the 1970 film The Great White Hope.

Tex Rickard, the legendary boxing promoter, ended up being the referee after failing to recruit President William Howard Taft or writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the end, it mattered not. Johnson scored a 15-round TKO that some say was over as early as Round 4 and the balance was just showboating punishment.

Later, Johnson was sentenced to jail by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (future baseball commissioner) for violations of the Mann Act (“transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes”). He served a year or so and resumed his lifestyle as before, unrepentant or apologetic.

A fictionalized version of his life was the 1970 film The Great White Hope, with James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander, both of whom were nominated for Oscars.

Jim O'NielIntelligent Collector blogger JIM O’NEAL is an avid collector and history buff. He is President and CEO of Frito-Lay International [retired] and earlier served as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Restaurants International [KFC Pizza Hut and Taco Bell].