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BACK IN TIME: Olympic star Jesse Owens at DWU

Olympic legend Jesse Owens was the featured speaker at Dakota Wesleyan University’s Blue and White Day banquet at the Masonic Temple on Oct. 15, 1960, in Mitchell.
Olympic legend Jesse Owens was the featured speaker at Dakota Wesleyan University’s Blue and White Day banquet at the Masonic Temple on Oct. 15, 1960, in Mitchell. The “75” on the podium refers to DWU’s 75th anniversary, which was being celebrated that year. The young woman at Owens’ right is not identified. DWU published this photo in its 1961 yearbook, noting that Owens had the audience absolutely spellbound. The Daily Republic reported that he spoke on youth and athletics, and that the applause following his speech lasted for two minutes. Earlier in the day, a squadron of S.D. Air National Guard jets swept over Mitchell’s Main Street to begin the 100-unit Blue and White Day parade, which was led by Owens and DWU President Jack J. Early north on Main Street to Kernel Stadium for the football game between DWU and Huron. In 1936, Owens became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad, which that year was held in Nazi Germany. (Photo courtesy of Dakota Wesleyan University Archives)
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