A must-see film of Alabama born, Jesse Owens, & the 1936 Olympics. It will make you proud to be an American!

[NOTE: This old film is long but a true historic treasure that will bring tears to your eyes. It will make you proud to be an Alabamian and an American. You’ll even hear Jesse Owen actually narrate part of this film and tell what was happening among the America Olympic delegation in the back-ground. There are several close-ups of Hitler’s reaction when he sees Jesse win the gold.]

Adolf Hiltler was in power during the 1936 Olympics

The memorable Olympic event of 1936 involved Alabama-born, Jesse Owens, in the summer Olympics that was held in Berlin, Germany.

At the time, Adolf Hitler was in power and German nationalistic feelings were at an all-time high. Hitler advocated Aryan supremacy and insisted Jews and Blacks should not be allowed to participate in the games. He only relented when numerous countries threatened to boycott the games.

Jesse Owens, 1936 (Library of Congress)

It wasn’t supposed to happen

Alabama born Jesse Owens wins the gold, 1936 Olympics

jesse_owens olympics 1936
Jesse Owens wins the gold, 1936 Olympics

Jesse Owens was at the center of the controversy

At the center of the controversy was James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (b. September 12, 1913 – d. March 31,1980), the son of sharecroppers Henry and Emma Alexander Owens, from Oakman, Alabama. Owens was the grandson of a slave, but he was destined to achieve what no Olympian before had accomplished.

Owens captured four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 400-meter relay. Owens’ victories are considered among the greatest athletic feats of all time.”1 He received four gold medals and Hitler, who believed Germany would win, was infuriated at his success.

Jesse Owens narrates the real story in this film

I have heard and read about Jesse Owens for years, but nothing could prepare me for this extraordinary film by the legendary sports filmmaker  Bud Greenspan.

Jesse Owens returned to Berlin and narrated the actual footage of the 1936 Olympics, including the opening ceremony where there was a controversy over the Olympic salutes. Watch Hitler’s reaction as Owen continues to win and Owen’s personal thoughts and experiences during the race.

The film is long but well worth watching

The film is long but well worth watching.  At the end you’ll see and hear Owens own words when he returned to Germany in 1951 and he was welcomed by the German people with open arms. This remarkable film is an amazing piece of history and make you proud to be an American.

The Jesse Owens Museum – Jesse Owens Memorial Park in Danville, AL

jesse owens museum
Jesse Owens Memorial Park in Danville, AL

Museum is located in Danville, Alabama

The Jesse Owens Museum is located in Danville, AL  and is a great facility to find out more about Jesse Owens life and the Olympics

The Jesse Owens Memorial Park Museum immortalizes Owens’ memory by depicting the moments that made Owens great and portraying the people who shaped him as an athlete and as a man. Glass display cases showcase rare memorabilia including programs from the 1936 Olympics, replicas of track uniforms and shoes, medals, and trophies from Owens’ high school days. In addition, the museum offers visitors interactive kiosks that highlight Owens’ life and accomplishments.

Jesse Owens still holds a strong place in people’s hearts as one of his gold medals recently went up for auction in December. It sold for $1.5 million, setting the record price for Olympic memorabilia.

1 Olympic videos



See all books by Donna R Causey

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)  is a collection of lost and forgotten stories about the people who discovered and initially settled in Alabama.

Some stories include:

  • The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
  • Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
  • Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
  • Alabama had its first Interstate in the early days of settlement




  1. Can’t find the link to the video.

    1. Oops. Thanks for catching that and letting me know. The video should be up now.

    2. Oops, thanks for catching that. It should be up now. Donna

  2. my mom Frances Walker of Siluria Alabama was there.

  3. Wow!!! That was incredible!! So glad you posted!

  4. This was really cool. Very well produced. I had lots of pride watching it. Pride in America and pride in Alabama. I didn’t see color. I saw American.

  5. A great film about a very great man!

    1. Click on the picture. The film is in the middle of the story. It shows what the American Olympic delegates did to show their contempt for Hitler.

  6. I had the privilege of meeting Jessie Owens on the 60s a real gentlemen

  7. Awesome film. I am sooo glad you posted this.

  8. He was. My father was a friend. I have a hand written letter to mu parents. Of of my Dads biggest moments

  9. He was. My father was a friend. I have a hand written letter to mu parents. Of of my Dads biggest moments

  10. Thank you so much for posting this, I had read many times about these instances and now to hear it from Mr. Owens own words makes it very , very , real! This makes me even more proud to be American and from Alabama!!

  11. I read somewhere that a Jewish waiter spilled a drink on hitler and that was when he turned his hate even more public. Imho, He didn’t have any Black people to punish for beating his ‘super’ athletics; so he turned his hatred onto the Jewish population. Most of them had dark hair, and a tint of skin color. He scapegoated! —

  12. […] In 1936, the United States was recovering from the Great Depression. Unemployment continued to fall to 16.9% while Hitler and the Nazi Party was growing in strength in Germany. The Olympics was held in Germany in 1936 and Hitler was very disappointed when  Jesse Owens won the gold and broke many track records. (Click to see a film of Hilter watching the Olympics that was narrated by Jesse Owens.) […]

  13. Thank you so very much for sharing this history. Wonderful story. So proud of Mr. Owens. USA, USA!

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