August 1936

August 1936  -  The Berlin Olympics

The Nazis viewed the 1936 Olympics as an opportunity for them to show foreign visitors/press a peaceful and tolerant country. They did this by rounding-up many “undesirables” and interring them in camps outside of Berlin during the games.

Jesse Ownes , one of 18 African American athletes to compete in Berlin, was the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals during one Olympiad.

                                      Photo: courtesy of Photo Archives at the Associated Press

American Jewish runners Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman were scheduled to run the 400-meter relay, but on the day of that event, they were replaced by African-Americans Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe.  Glickman later recalled, "We were shocked. Sam was  completely stunned. He didn't say a word in the meeting.  I was a brash 18-year-old kid and I said 'Coach, you can't hide world-class sprinters.' At which point, Jesse spoke up and said 'Coach, I've won my 3 gold medals [the 100, the 200, and the long jump]. I'm tired. I've had it. Let Marty and Sam run, they deserve it.’ Cromwell     pointed his finger at him and said 'You'll do as you're told.' And in those days, black athletes did as they were told, and Jesse was quiet after that."