Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics The 1936 Summer Olympic Games opened on August 1, 1936, in Berlin, and was dubbed ‘The Nazi Games.’ African-American Jesse Owens received his first of four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics for winning the 100-meter dash — becoming the world’s fastest man. Adolf Hitler had hoped that the games would demonstrate Aryan supremacy, but crowds that had enthusiastically greeted and saluted Hitler soon exploded in cheers for Jesse Owens when he crossed the finish line in the 100-meter dash. Owens also set new Olympic records in the long jump, the 200-meter dash and the 4 x 100-meter relay. It had been 36 years since a track-and-field athlete had won three gold medals in one Olympics.
Photo: Library of Congress