On this day: April 12

POSTED: 02:42 PM PDT Apr 09, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Apr 11, 2016 

The American Civil War begins, FDR dies, a Soviet cosmonaut becomes the first human to travel into space, and the first space shuttle lifts off, all on this day.

OTD April 12 - Joe Louis
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Chicago History Museum

1981: Former World Heavyweight Champion boxer Joe Louis, considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, dies of a heart attack at the age of 66 in Paradise, Nevada. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber," Louis was champion from 1937 to 1949, setting a heavyweight division record in successfully defending his title 25 times. He retired in 1951 with a career record of 66 wins (52 by knockout), three losses and one no contest.


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