28 Days of American History

Feb 3, 2010


Lesson 3: Jesse Owens
  • Born in Alabama in 1913, Owens was the grandson of a slave (which AMAZES me that he wasn't too far removed from those terrible conditions and was able to accomplish so much in his lifetime)
  • He went to college at Ohio State and while at the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor on May 25, 1935, he set three world records and tied a fourth, all in a span of about 45 minutes. (Son, it take me 45 minutes to run a few miles on the treadmill...setting 3 world records in that span? CRAZY!) And he did it ALL while suffering from back pain from falling down some stairs the day before
  • Became the first athlete to win FOUR gold medals in one olympiad in the 1936 Olympic games held in Berlin. Not only was this important in terms of sport, but it occurred in the face of intense racial tension. (He also completely upstaged Hitler's theory of a superior race and was surprised that he was received BETTER in Germany than he was when he returned to the United States. Go figure?)
  • In 1976, Jesse was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award bestowed upon a civilian, by Gerald R. Ford
  • Owens was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush (not the complete idiot, the OTHER George Bush)
The End.


Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....