1936 Olympians receive overdue recognition at White House

From Left: Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe and Frank Wykoff on the deck of the S. S. Manhattan as the team sailed for Germany in 1936. (Public Domain)
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Relatives of Jesse Owens and the 17 other African-Americans who competed at the 1936 Olympics will be welcomed to the White House to meet President Barack Obama on Thursday -- an honor Owens and others didn't receive after they returned home from Berlin 80 years ago.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun announced the historic visit during an Olympic awards ceremony Wednesday night.
Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Games, but it was Adolph Hitler's refusal to shake his hand that stood as the lasting memory of those Olympics.
Owens returned to a segregated America where he had trouble finding steady work and where, according to his interviews in later years, the president, Franklin Roosevelt, never sent him any words of congratulations or an invitation to the White House.



 
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