Sport: The Last Bell

Never before had there been so many people crammed into Manhattan's Madison Square Garden. Besides the 23,000 who filled every seat to the rafters, there were thousands standing three-deep. Outside, police formed a wall around the Garden to keep all but ticket holders away.

The crowd had gone to see a prize fight. More than that, they had gone to cheer a gallant little Negro: spindle-shanked, kinky-haired Henry Armstrong. Two years ago, at 25, Henry Armstrong held three world's championships (featherweight, lightweight, welterweight), a feat unmatched by any other fisticuffer, white or black. He renounced his featherweight title, lost his lightweight crown...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!