This Day in History (29-Oct-1960) – Muhammad Ali’s (Cassius Clay) 1st professional fight, beats Tunney Hunsaker

Muhammad Ali is considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history. In his first amateur bout in 1954, he won the fight by split decision. Ali went on to win the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class. Three years later, he won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, and the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the light-heavyweight division.

In 1960, at Rome Olympics, Ali defeated Zbigniew Pietrzkowski from Poland to win the gold medal for USA. He soon turned professional with the backing of the Louisville Sponsoring Group. During the 1960s Ali seemed unstoppable, winning all his bouts with majority of them being by knockouts. He took out British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963 and then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

Ali was doing some spiritual searching and decided to join the black Muslim group, the Nation of Islam, in 1964. At first, he called himself “Cassius X,” eventually settling on the name Muhammad Ali. Two years later, Ali refused to acknowledge his military service in the name of religion. He later cleared his name after a lengthy court battle. However, the boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.

Returning to the ring in 1970, Ali won his first bout after his forced hiatus. He knocked out Jerry Quarry in October in Atlanta. The following year, Ali took on Joe Frazier in what has been called the “Fight of the Century.” Frazier and Ali went for 15 rounds before Frazier briefly dropped Ali to the ground, before beating Ali by decision. Ali later beat Frazier in a 1974 rematch. Another legendary Ali fight took place in 1974. Billed as the “Rumble in the Jungle,”. Ali fought the reigning heavyweight champion George Foreman at Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali defeated Foreman and once again becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. Perhaps one of his toughest bouts took place in 1975 when he battled longtime rival Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila” fight. Held in Quezon City, Philippines, the match lasted for more than 14 rounds with each fighter giving it their all. Ali emerged victorious in the end. Since his retirement, Ali has devoted much of his time to philanthropy.

 

 Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/october/29

http://www.biography.com/people/muhammad-ali-9181165#synopsis

This Day in History (6-Sep-1522) – Victoria Sails into Port in Spain, Arriving as the First Ship to Circumnavigate the World

Twenty-five years after Christopher Columbus had set foot in the New World for Spain, Magellan and two associates presented the idea of western route to the “Spice Islands” to King Charles I in 1517.  Excited by the possibility, Charles agreed and guaranteed the men five ships — the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Santiago and Victoria.  After building a crew of 270, the voyage departed on August 10, 1519 from Seville with Magellan at the helm of the Trinidad.  Three months later, the group anchored in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to load up on supplies. Late in the year 1520, the ships reached Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost point of South America. Now through to the South Pacific, Magellan guided his crew northwest.  In March 1521, the expedition reached the Philippines.  Attacked by native tribes upon landing at Mactan, Magellan and 30 crewmen were killed in fierce fighting. The remaining crew, just enough to fill up theTrinidad and Victoria, setting sail in May and landing in Borneo in mid-June.  In November, the 115 remaining crew reached the Spice Islands (Maluku), just as Magellan had intended.

Ready to return to Europe, the remaining two ships split up. Victoria left In December 1521 with Juan Sebastian Elcano in charge.  In May 1522, the ship turned north up the west coast of Africa with only rice to eat, causing 20 sailors to die of starvation.  In September, Elcano had forced 13 others to disembark in order to save the 26-ton load of cinnamon and cloves. Having covered 42,000 miles of ocean, more than half of it completely unfamiliar — the leaking boat only managed to return thanks to the crew working day and night to pump water from within the hull. The 18 men remaining aboard, gaunt and fatigued, presented themselves to the court of Charles I days later. Completing the full trip around the world only occurred because Elcano, relatively unknown to history, decided to strike to the west. It is interesting to note that whilst on the Cape Verde Islands they had discovered that although all the logs on the boat showed that it was a Wednesday, the Calendars on land all showed it to be a Thursday. At first they puzzled over the mistake they thought they had made before eventually realising that by travelling a 360 degree circumference of the globe they had lost a day.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/september-6-1522-ce-victoria-sails-into-port-in-spain-arriving-as-the-first-ship-to-circumnavigate-the-world

http://globemakers.com/facsimile/globe_magellan.htm