Up Next

Black History Month

On this day in black history: Leon Spinks stuns the world by beating Muhammad Ali

Black History Month: The Undefeated Edition Feb. 15

1896 – George Washington Carver builds a school
Known for discovering more than 300 products derived from the peanut, scientist George Washington Carver becomes the head of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural School at Tuskegee Normal School.

1968 — Henry Lewis becomes the first African-American to lead a major orchestra
Henry Lewis broke racial barriers when he was named director of the New Jersey Symphony. Lewis’ 47 years of work includes transforming the symphony from an ensemble into a well-known, prestigious orchestra that performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

1978 — Leon Spinks upsets Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title
Twenty-four-year-old Leon Spinks shocked the boxing world as he battled for 15 rounds against the 36-year-old Muhammad Ali for a split-decision victory. Spinks became the heavyweight champion of the world in front of a crowd of 5,300 at the Las Vegas Hilton Sports Pavilion and millions of television viewers. Ali went into the fight as a 10-1 favorite to win.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.