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Boxing Towel used in the Joe Louis - Max Schmeling Fight

Boxing Towel used in the Joe Louis - Max Schmeling Fight

Usage conditions apply
Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (1914–1981) lost his first bout with Nazi Germany's champion Max Schmeling in 1936, but the return match was a triumph for America. This towel was thrown in by Schmeling's handlers at Yankee Stadium, New York City, June 22, 1938, where Louis pummeled his opponent in the first round. Enforcing a boxing rule that seconds cannot stop a fight, referee Arthur Donovan then threw it out. The towel was thrown in again during the first round, giving Louis the victory in two minutes and four seconds. The story of the fight was later embroidered on the towel.
Currently not on view
Object Name
towel, boxing
date made
date of the fight
Schmeling, Max
Louis, Joe
location of the fight
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
overall: 22 in x 9 in; 55.88 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Mrs. Julian A. Black
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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