August 3, 1936: Jesse Owens Breaks Records at Berlin Olympics
On this day in 1936, African American sprinter, Jesse Owens, triumphed at the Berlin Olympics, winning his second of four gold medals at the games and discrediting Adolf Hitler’s theories on the superiority of the Aryan race. While many countries boycotted the Olympic Games that year, the United States brought 312 athletes – 19 African American and 5 Jewish – much to the reluctant approval of the Nazis.
Watch as American Experience tells the story of this 22-year-old son of a sharecropper who became a hero and global sensation in the face of adversity and racism both abroad and back home.
Photo: Jesse Owens at start of record breaking 200 meter race during the Olympic games 1936 in Berlin. Wikimedia Commons