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International Boxing Hall of Fame   1 Hall of Fame Drive   Canastota, NY 13032  P: 315.697.7095 F: 315.697.5356

CANASTOTA, NY – FEBRUARY 22, 2008 - On Saturday, February 16, 2008, the International Boxing Hall of Fame hosted members of VFW Post 600 and American Legion Post 140 for a special advance screening of the HBO Sports film, JOE LOUIS: AMERICA'S HERO…BETRAYED at the Hall of Fame Event Pavilion.

The special revealed how the grandson of slaves became one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, served as an iconic figure in World War II, and later carried himself with dignity and class through numerous setbacks. It also underscores his importance during a critical time in America's history. From the Great Depression through World War II and into the 1950s, Joe Louis was the poster boy for the American way of life. In 1938, when Louis defeated Germany's Max Schmeling, his victory was interpreted as democracy's defeat of Nazism, boosting public morale and transforming him into a true American hero.

The Hall of Fame was proud to host this poignant film. Guests were able to view the special while sitting ringside to the world famous Madison Square Garden boxing ring currently on display in the Event Pavilion that Joe Louis boxed in 12 times (winning 11 and losing one).

Canastota native, Hall of Famer, former Marine and World War II veteran Carmen Basilio made a surprise visit. Basilio, who was friends with Louis, enjoyed the film and graciously signed autographs and posed for pictures with the veterans.

For more information, please visit http://www.hbo.com/events/joelouis/index.html
Canastota Mayor Todd Rouse, Carmen Basilio and Hall director Ed Brophy
Basilio poses with Louis memorabilia next to the ring Louis fought in 12 times
Basilio with members of the VFW Post 600 and American Legion Post 140