Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics

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As the nation celebrates the victories of the Olympians at the 2012 games, it is fitting that on this day we remember what happened at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Alabama native, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in those games. He was "the fastest man alive!"

Hitler hated it. He refused to even shake Owens hand, because he was an African American.

Then, in 1951, Owens returned, at the request of Germany, to the Olympic stadium where he made history. This time, as he made a symbolic run around the track, the crowd stood and cheered.

The mayor of Berlin said Hitler would not shake Owens' hand, but "today, I offer you both of mine."

You can learn more at the Jesse Owens Memorial Park Museum in the Lawrence county town of Oakville, Alabama.