At the 11th Summer Olympics, held in Berlin in 1936, Adolf Hitler set out to stage an exhibition of Aryan supremacy, only to have his ambitions shattered by Jesse Owens.
Far and away the most famous athlete to emerge from the Games, the African-American Owens garnered a trio of gold medals in as many days, equaling or setting Olympic records in the 100-m dash, 200-m dash and long jump. As a member of the American 4x100m relay team, he collected his fourth gold medal, helping set a world record that would stand for 20 years in the process.
All told, African-Americans won eight gold medals at Berlin, as the U.S. commanded the Games' track and field events. Yet despite the Americans' prowess in track and field, the Germans ultimately triumphed in the medal count, winning 33 more medals than the U.S.
The 11th Olympiad also featured the introduction of basketball as an Olympic sport and the debut of the torch run as a tradition culminating in the Games' opening ceremony.