Good News in History, August 9

Good News in History, August 9

Sommerolympiade, Siegerehrung WeitsprungOn this day 80 years ago, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal in track and field competitions at the Berlin Olympics – an American first. Adolf Hitler was using the games to show the world a resurgent Nazi Germany. He had high hopes that German athletes would dominate the games with victories, as he believed in “Aryan” racial superiority and depicted ethnic Africans as inferior. (1936)

Sommerolympiade, Siegerehrung Weitsprung


In his 1970 autobiography, The Jesse Owens Story, Owens recounted how Hitler later stood up and waved to him anyway: “When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him.” Owens was cheered enthusiastically by 110,000 people in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium–and later, ordinary Germans sought his autograph when they saw him in the streets.
More Good News on this Day in History:

  • Construction of the Tower of Pisa began – and it continued for two centuries (1173)
  • The Sistine Chapel was opened to the public, detailed photo below (1483)
  • Henry David Thoreau published “Walden,” which described his experiences living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts (1854)
  • The cartoon character Betty Boop by Max Fleischer made her first appearance— the caricature of a Jazz age flapper that became one of the best-known cartoon characters in the world (1930)
  • Smokey Bear was introduced in an ad campaign for forest fire prevention in the US, wearing a ranger hat and saying, ‘Only YOU can prevent forest fires’ (1944)
  • Lauro Cavazos was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be secretary of education and the first Hispanic to serve in the executive Cabinet (1988)
  • Mauritania passed a law criminalizing slavery for the first time (2007)
Sistine Chapel’s Ceiling

Sistine chapel ceiling