Saturday, August 05, 2006

70 years Ago...

...Jesse Owens shocked the world and stuck a huge thorn in the side of Hitler's showcasing of his "Master race" athetes in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. The fastest man in the world wasn't a German, but a Black American son of a sharecropper. More than just a sporting event, Owens had thwarted a major propoganda tool for the Nazi's. Owens won four gold medals: 100 meter dash in 10.3 seconds (tying the world record), long jump with a jump of 26' 5 1/4" (Olympic record), 200 meter dash in 20.7 seconds (Olympic record), and 400 meter relay (first leg) in 39.8 seconds (Olympic and world record).

The performance made him both an Olympic hero and a lasting symbol of black pride. In 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Owens the prestigious Medal of Freedom.

Owens got the name "Jesse" when a teacher misunderstood his initials, J.C.

Jesse Ownes Quotes
The Jesse Owens Foundation


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