In the 1936 Olympic Summer games in Berlin, a single man captured the attention of the world, winning 4 gold medals and shattering Hitler’s theory of Aryan racial superiority.
Sixty years later, thousands gathered, along with Jesse’s family, to honor Owens with the dedication of a park and museum bearing his name. On June 29, 1996 with the arrival of the Olympic torch on its journey to the Atlanta games, the Jesse Owens Memorial Park and Museum, which only 4 years earlier started with a dream, became a reality. This was a long-overdue tribute to the Olympic track and field superstar.
The park located in Oakville, Alabama, the home of Jesse’s birth, showcases several memorials for Owens including a museum, statue, 1936 torch replica, birth home replica and an oak tree of the same variety as Owens’ gold medal tree.
Ruth Owens, Jesse’s wife, who attended the park dedication and unveiled a 18-foot bronze statue of Jesse, said, “I’ve seen a lot of statues of Jesse, but his one is the best. It looks just like him.” Afterwards Ruth lit the torch replica.
Our goal is to honor the life and accomplishments of this remarkable man and to mirror Owens’ dedication to America’s youth by investing in the community.
The park provides facilities for community use such as a basketball court, baseball/softball fields, playground and picnic tables and pavilions.
Park Directors and Board members are hopeful that one day funding will become available to complete the final phase of park development, the construction of an Olympic size track. This addition would make it possible to sponsor annual youth competition modeled after the ARCO/Jesse Owens games held in Phoenix, Arizona until 1994.
Individuals: Admission is your Donation
Groups $3 per person