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History's Happenings for August 9

Second A-Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki
1945

Mushroom cloud rises over Nagasaki

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U.S.S. Columbia Completes World Tour
1790

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Creeks Surrender to Jackson
1814

President Andrew Jackson

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U.S., Canada Resolve Border Dispute
1842

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Jesse Owens Embarrasses Nazis
1936

American sprinter Jesse Owens, spoiling the Führer's day

When Adolf Hitler arranged for the 1936 Olympic Games to be held in Berlin, and for them to be carefully filmed and choreographed, he was counting on the German Herrenmensch, or superman, to hog the limelight.

Unfortunately things just didn't work out for him.

While there were certainly some excellent German athletes -- supermen or not -- and some outstanding competition, the real laurels went to America's own Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. The fact that Owens was black no doubt made Hitler's views on race a bit harder to explain to his chums back at the party hall.

James Cleveland Owens was born September 12, 1913, in Danville, AL. After setting track and field records as a youngster, he attended Ohio State University, where he set new world records for both the running broad jump and the 100-meter dash.

At the 1936 Olympics, Hitler refused to acknowledge Owens' gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the running broad jump, the 200-meter dash and as a member of the 400-meter relay team. The recordbook did not, as in the process of winning them he tied one Olympic record and set three new ones, along with a new world record in the 200-meter dash.

After the Olympics Owens finished his degree, and worked in both public relations and government, making goodwill trips overseas for the State Department. He also focused on helping kids develop athletic abilities, and wrote his autobiography, The Jesse Owens Story, in 1970. He died in 1980.

Nixon Resignation Takes Effect; Ford President
1974

President Richard Nixon

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