100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

African American Boxer Weds In Illinois

Jack Johnson is an African American boxer who is reigning heavyweight champion. He is controversial because of his race and lifestyle.


After failing to indict Johnson on abduction charges involving a young woman Lucille Cameron who had refused to testify againsthim, Jackson was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for violation of the Mann Act for arranging for an old acquaintance (who now had a grudge) to travel with him. Jackson makes no apologies for his choice of companions or how he chooses to live his life.

On December 4, 1912 Jack Johnson shocked much of America and snubbed his nose at the authorities by marrying “outside his race” to Lucille Cameron at Johnson’s mother house in Chicago attended by white and colored guests. Outside, police kept over 1,000 spectators at bay. Johnson tried to protect Cameron’s privacy.

“I will not tell where she is now, where the ceremony will be performed or anything else about it. I don’t want Miss Cameron annoyed.”

The marriage has already sparked a heated debate on racially mixed marriages.

Wedding photograph of Jack Johnson and Lucille Cameron December 4, 1912

Wedding photograph of Jack Johnson and Lucille Cameron
December 4, 1912

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