SEC. 9206.




Section Summary

Jack Johnson recieved the third posthumous pardon knowingly granted by a president. Jack Johnson, former African-American heaveyweight world champion recieved a full and unconditional pardon for the 1913 convictions of racially bias crimes.

ESSA Update


(a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:

(1) John Arthur ``Jack'' Johnson was a flamboyant, defiant,

and controversial figure in the history of the United States who

challenged racial biases.

(2) Jack Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878 to

parents who were former slaves.

(3) Jack Johnson became a professional boxer and traveled

throughout the United States, fighting White and African-

American heavyweights.

(4) After being denied (on purely racial grounds) the

opportunity to fight 2 White champions, in 1908, Jack Johnson

was granted an opportunity by an Australian promoter to fight

the reigning White title-holder, Tommy Burns.

(5) Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first

African-American to hold the title of Heavyweight Champion of

the World.

[[Page 129 STAT. 2140]]

(6) The victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a

search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a

recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ``great

white hope''.

(7) In 1910, a White former champion named Jim Jeffries left

retirement to fight Jack Johnson in Reno, Nevada.

(8) Jim Jeffries lost to Jack Johnson in what was deemed the

``Battle of the Century''.

(9) The defeat of Jim Jeffries by Jack Johnson led to

rioting, aggression against African-Americans, and the racially-

motivated murder of African-Americans throughout the United


(10) The relationships of Jack Johnson with White women

compounded the resentment felt toward him by many Whites.

(11) Between 1901 and 1910, 754 African-Americans were

lynched, some simply for being ``too familiar'' with White


(12) In 1910, Congress passed the Act of June 25, 1910

(commonly known as the ``White Slave Traffic Act'' or the ``Mann

Act'') (18 U.S.C. 2421 et seq.), which outlawed the

transportation of women in interstate or foreign commerce ``for

the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other

immoral purpose''.

(13) In October 1912, Jack Johnson became involved with a

White woman whose mother disapproved of their relationship and

sought action from the Department of Justice, claiming that Jack

Johnson had abducted her daughter.

(14) Jack Johnson was arrested by Federal marshals on

October 18, 1912, for transporting the woman across State lines

for an ``immoral purpose'' in violation of the Mann Act.

(15) The Mann Act charges against Jack Johnson were dropped

when the woman refused to cooperate with Federal authorities,

and then married Jack Johnson.

(16) Federal authorities persisted and summoned a White

woman named Belle Schreiber, who testified that Jack Johnson had

transported her across State lines for the purpose of

``prostitution and debauchery''.

(17) In 1913, Jack Johnson was convicted of violating the

Mann Act and sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in Federal prison.

(18) Jack Johnson fled the United States to Canada and

various European and South American countries.

(19) Jack Johnson lost the Heavyweight Championship title to

Jess Willard in Cuba in 1915.

(20) Jack Johnson returned to the United States in July

1920, surrendered to authorities, and served nearly a year in

the Federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas.

(21) Jack Johnson subsequently fought in boxing matches, but

never regained the Heavyweight Championship title.

(22) Jack Johnson served the United States during World War

II by encouraging citizens to buy war bonds and participating in

exhibition boxing matches to promote the war bond cause.

(23) Jack Johnson died in an automobile accident in 1946.

(24) In 1954, Jack Johnson was inducted into the Boxing Hall

of Fame.

(25) Senate Concurrent Resolution 29, 111th Congress, agreed

to July 29, 2009, expressed the sense of the 111th

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Congress that Jack Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon

for his racially-motivated 1913 conviction.

(b) Recommendations.--It remains the sense of Congress that Jack

Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon--

(1) to expunge a racially-motivated abuse of the

prosecutorial authority of the Federal Government from the

annals of criminal justice in the United States; and

(2) in recognition of the athletic and cultural

contributions of Jack Johnson to society


Previously not included in NCLB.