The Summer Olympics have always been a great opportunity for the world to come together and celebrate greatness. They have given us moments of amazing achievement and great inspiration. During times of war and other global challenges, however, the games changed.
Summer Olympics and World War II
The Olympic games were of great significance during WWII and the years surrounding it. In 1936, as Hitler was building to a war of ideas championing the concept of white superiority and German perfection, African-American Jesse Owens brought a historic 4 Gold Medals home to the United States.
The 1940 Summer Games were set to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Due to the 1937 Japanese invasion of China, they were rescheduled for Helsinki, Finland later in the year. Ultimately, however, they were canceled altogether to the outbreak of World War II.
1952 Olympic Games and International Tension
While the Olympics during WWII are historically notable, the 1952 games had their own unique issues. During this time, WWII was over and The Korean War was in swing. A Chinese civil war was taking place while tensions between the U.S and Russia were reaching a peak. The games went on, however, the global tension could not be ignored.
About The Greatest Generation
Members of the greatest generation are those who lived through World War II and Korea. These Americans, not only remember these historic moments like the Summer Olympics, but they remember the challenges that shaped this country. As we look back at these interesting events from our history, let’s not forget about those who gave so much. Learn more about giving back here. For more 1940’s and 1950s nostalgia, check out our blog.