For a long time, if you were African-American, the sports arena was where you found a microcosm of black life in the larger world. Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis were not only heroes in their own right but were emblematic of the slow progress "up from slavery." With Muhammad Ali, this sentiment took on additional spin when he was stripped of his world championship boxing title after being accused of dodging the draft during the Vietnam War. George Foreman became the new champ, and seven years after losing his title - not to an actual boxer but to aggregate entities larger than he - Ali was given an opportunity to get it back. The historic match was held on this day in 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire. Promoter Don King called it "The Rumble in the Jungle." Here are two clips, roughly 10 minutes apiece), which show the opening of the fight with all the attendant brouhaha and the climatic 8th round closing.
It was on this day in 1811 that an anonymous author known only as "a lady" visited upon the world one of literature's most beloved novels. Isn't it wonderful that her life and work are enjoying such a revival in our own time. Here's a clip from Ang Lee's 2007 film of today's birthday book.