On this day 81 years ago, Jesse Owens shocked Adolf Hitler and the Nazis hosting the Berlin Olympics by winning the 100-meter dash. Owens, a black American, also became the first United States athlete to win four gold medals in track and field at the Olympic games. (1936)

(Click to enlarge the photo of the medal ceremony and see the German athletes saluting Hitler, while Owens salutes the flag)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The opera house La Scala opened in Milan, Italy, with a performance of Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta (1778)
  • America’s first intercollegiate athletic event was held when Yale met Harvard for a crew race (1852)
  • Niger gained independence from France (1960)
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was ratified by the US Senate (1972)
  • Golfer Annika Sorenstam completed a career Grand Slam by winning the Women’s British Open (2003)
  • The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed after the September 11 attacks of 2001 (2004)



Happy birthday to Tony Bennett, the jazz and pop singer who turns 91 today. The accomplished painter and winner of 17 Grammy Awards is still popular today and has no intention of retiring because artists “get busier as they get older.” In the wake of success with his “Duets” LPs, he continues singing with modern crooners like Bono, Elton, and Lady Gaga. (1926) Photo by Tom Beetz, CC


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