Columbus—Today, State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) introduced Senate Bill 285, declaring September 12th Jesse Owens Day across the State of Ohio. Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) is joint-sponsoring the legislation, which has already received bipartisan support.

Jesse Owens is best known for his powerful performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he won four gold medals and crippled the Nazi narrative of Aryan racial superiority at the final Games before the outbreak of World War II. Prior to representing the United States Olympic Team, Owens ran track at The Ohio State University and became known as the “Buckeye Bullet” for his record-setting performances.

“Jesse Owens remains an inspiring figure for his perseverance through adversity, commitment to sportsmanship, and incredible athletic achievements,” said Senator Thomas. “It is fitting that we honor his legacy by recognizing his birthday as Jesse Owens Day in the State of Ohio.” 

Though he did not receive a scholarship and was forced to live off-campus with the other African American athletes during his time at Ohio State, Owens is now recognized as a proud son of Ohio. Most notably, the 10,000-seat home of Buckeye track and field, lacrosse, and soccer on the campus of The Ohio State University bears the name Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. 

“Jesse Owens was a trailblazer for human progress and an ambassador for American ideals at home and abroad,” said Senator Thomas. “As we celebrate Black History Month, the stories of people like Jesse Owens should be remembered and shared with the next generation of Ohioans.”

 
 
 
  
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