On Friday October 10th from 7am-12pm members of the Columbus Air Force Base along with local firefighters assisted in the cleanup efforts at Frierson’s Cemetery as part of the weekend-long series of events honoring Columbus native and boxing champion Henry Armstrong (1912-1988).
Also, Friday Night Fights were a wonderful success! Deontay Wilder (only American boxer to win a medal at the 2008 Olympics) and Clarence Weatherspoon (NBA basketball player) came to show their support and sign autographs. A 10 pound boxing glove signed by boxing great Smokin Joe Frazier was auctioned off during the fights.
On Monday, the events began with a luncheon at White Hall in honor of the Jackson Family. Carol Boggess graciously opened her home and provided an excellent array of Southern dishes. The lunch was followed by the historic marker unveiling at the corner of Wilkins-Wise and Waverly Roads. Over 150 members of the community, local government, and family attended. The Proclamations from the City of Columbus, Lowndes County, and the state of Mississippi declaring Oct. 13th Henry Armstrong Day were all read at the unveiling. Also, Rufus Ward read a letter from boxer Smokin Joe Frazier where he talked about the monumental influence Henry Armstrong had on his life.
The day concluded with a presentation and a movie at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. Edward Scott, Jr. brought home movies of his grandfather showing both his boxing fights and the TV show “I’ve Got a Secret” that Armstrong appeared on in 1966. Afterward, over 70 patrons were provided with drinks and popcorn while they enjoyed Armstrong’s performance in the 1939 movie “Keep Punching”.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Henry Armstrong Dedication weekend an enjoyable and memorable experience!