This Day in History

June 4, 1967: Muhammed Ali Summit

Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Laws & Citizen Rights, Sports, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements

On June 4, 1967, Muhammad Ali and a group of leading African American athletes held a press conference in Cleveland after Ali announced he was refusing to serve in the U.S. military in Vietnam.

(front row) Russell, Ali, Brown and Lew Alcindor (now Abdul-Jabbar). Back row (left to right): Stokes, Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Curtis McClinton, Willie Davis, Jim Shorter, and John Wooten.

Dubbed the Ali summit, the meeting happened roughly a month after Ali refused to step forward at an induction ceremony in Houston after being drafted into the U.S. military.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Carl Stokes were some of the athletes and political figures involved in the meeting.

Below are resources for teaching about sports and here are resources for teaching about the Vietnam War and anti-war movement.