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Timeline: Louis and Schmeling chronology

1905-1937 | 1938-2005  


September 28: Max Schmeling is born in Klein-Luckow, in Germany's Brandenburg province.


Christmas Day: African American boxer Jack Johnson knocks out Canadian Tommy Burns in 14 rounds, becoming the first black man to win the world heavyweight title.


May 13: Joe Louis Barrow is born in Lafayette, Alabama, the son of sharecroppers.


August 2: In his first professional boxing match, in Dusseldorf, Germany, Schmeling beats Kurt Czapp by TKO in six rounds.


The Barrow family leaves Alabama and heads to Detroit. Their exodus is part of the Great Migration of African Americans traveling North to seek better jobs and better lives.


June 19: Schmeling beats Belgian Fernand Delarge to become boxing's European light-heavyweight champion.


Max Schmeling and Joe Jacobs getting off airplane Schmeling retains Joe Jacobs, an American Jew with Hungarian roots, as his boxing manager.


October 29: "Black Tuesday." The U.S. stock market crashes, wiping out investors, triggering bank failures, destroying businesses, and leading to the Great Depression.


June 12: In a title match, Jack Sharkey hits Schmeling below the belt. Schmeling wins by default, earning the world heavyweight boxing championship.


Max Schmeling Fighting Jack Sharkey June 21: In a controversial decision, Schmeling loses his title to Sharkey in fifteen rounds.

New York governor Franklin Roosevelt defeats President Herbert Hoover in a landslide, promising Americans a New Deal to provide relief from economic hardship.


January 30: Controversial political leader Adolf Hitler is named chancellor of Germany. Within months, he will establish himself as dictator and begin a campaign against Germany's Jews.

In Detroit, the teenage Louis meets John Roxborough, who becomes his manager. The next year, he will take on a co-manager, Julian Black, and a trainer, Jack "Chappie" Blackburn.


July 4: In Chicago, Louis knocks out Jack Kracken in his first professional bout.


June 25: The young phenomenon Joe Louis debuts in New York, knocking out Primo Carnera in six rounds at Yankee Stadium. After the fight, 20,000 people assemble at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom to celebrate.

September 24: Hours before fighting Max Baer, Louis marries Marva Trotter.


1936 fight, Schmeling ducking a Louis punch June 19: The first Louis-Schmeling fight at Yankee Stadium ends with a surprise knockout victory by Schmeling in the 12th round.


Louis with hands up celebrating victory over Braddock in 1937 June 22: In Chicago's Auditorium, Joe Louis knocks out Jimmy Braddock in eight rounds to win the heavyweight championship of the world. Louis will say, "Only thing I remembered saying then was, 'Bring on Max Schmeling. Bring him on.'"

1905-1937 | 1938-2005  

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