This Weekend In History…

Statue of Liberty

October 28, 1886

The 151-foot-high gift from the French people is dedicated. The French donated the Statue of Liberty, but the U.S. was responsible for building its pedestal.

Duane Allman Killed in Motorcycle Crash

October 29, 1971

24-year-old Duane Allman, slide guitarist and leader of the Allman Brothers Band, dies after crashing his motorcycle. Allman was speeding on his motorcycle when he slowed for an oncoming flatbed truck turning left in front of him. Allman veered to the center of the lane to go around the truck, but the truck stopped suddenly and Allman slammed into the weight ball of the crane the truck was carrying causing severe internal injuries. He died later that day during surgery at the hospital. The Allman Brothers Band had just released their live album, At Fillmore East. It was their breakout album and was their first album to go platinum and is considered one of the greatest live rock albums of all time.

Rumble in the Jungle

October 30, 1974

Muhammad Ali wins by a knockout against the overwhelming favorite George Foreman in Zaire for the heavyweight boxing championship. The fight was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world’s most-watched live television broadcast at the time and the fight grossed an estimated $100 million in revenue. It was during this fight that Ali introduced his “rope-a-dope” tactic, where Ali would back up against the ropes and use his arms to block Foreman’s punches. Ali’s trainer would later say it was called “rope-a-dope” because he was a dope to use it.
The government of Zaire staged the event and its president personally paid Ali and Foreman $5 million each just for showing up. He wanted to draw attention to Zaire’s beauty and natural resources.
Ali had been stripped of his title in 1967 after he was convicted of draft-evasion, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. This victory made Ali only the second dethroned heavyweight champ in history to regain his belt.