A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jesse Owens Museum

Oakville, Alabama

We had pretty much exhausted our list of things to see while touring the South so on our slow way back home I resorted to looking for sites on my AAA road map.  I spotted this which was in the direction of our travels.  It was a rainy day and only one other foolish intrepid traveler stopped to view the Jesse Owens Museum while we were there.  Jesse was born in Oakville and lived there until the age of nine when the family moved on to Cleveland, Ohio.
Inside the museum was most impressive; far more than I expected.

I never took a picture of the outside of the museum!  Guess I was afraid of getting wet.  

But I was curious as to the home he lived in and waited for the rain to let up some then made the 100 yard dash to it in record time.

My pictures through the wet glass didn't come out as I was using that iPhone thing as I didn't want to bring my Nikon out into the rain.  So here's a selfie instead.

Jesse and the hurdles.

They had a mocked up long jump pit nearby marking off the distances he jumped.  You the visitor could run and jump into the pit and try to match Jesse's record.  I would have but...it was raining remember?  I didn't want to get my Converse muddy.

So get this, this Olympic star was a pack-a-day smoker for 35 years, gets lung cancer and dies in Tucson, Arizona in 1980 at the age of 66.


  1. He was an icon in his time. It is amazing how one boy can come to this height. At the Olympic Games you often see that one person is standing out. Sad he smoked so much....

  2. i like how you eschewed running, jumping, etc. due to the rain. ;)

    so sad about the smoking... and bless his mom!

  3. Almost unimaginable that an athlete with talent like that would be smoking a pack a day.

  4. You wonder how different his life would have been if he was competing today. No doubt a multi million dollar sponsorship deal. Although his achievements have been well documented I know nothing of his life or how he died. Interesting post.

  5. Interesting. He certainly rose above his roots with his Olympic wins. I didn't know he was a smoker. Too bad lung cancer cut his life short.

  6. That was the guy who put hitler a slap in the face in 1936 by winning from his super folk .

  7. Sure was a tiny house to raise that big of a family.

    Sure wish you would have tried to beat Jesse's long jump record. LOL.


  8. I would love to visit that museum.


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