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Trump Pardons Chicago Boxing Great Jack Johnson Posthumously

Video: In this 2005 “Chicago Tonight” segment, John Callaway tells the story of Jack Johnson. 

In 1908, boxer Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns for the heavyweight title – at a time when whites and blacks rarely entered the same ring.

Johnson then defeated a series of “great white hopes,” culminating in his 1910 win against the undefeated former champ James J. Jeffries.

But in 1913, Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act for traveling with his white girlfriend. The law made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral purposes.” He served about a year in prison.

When issuing the pardon, President Donald Trump said, “it’s about time.”

Johnson lived in Chicago for much of his life and ran a popular South Side nightclub, Café de Champion. 

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