EVENT POSTPONED :: Jesse Owens’ Oak Tree Legacy to Live on in Cleveland

Due to the stay-at-home advisory issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the city of Cleveland, the planting of the newly propagated tree from the Jesse Owens Oak that was to take place at Rockefeller Park Lagoon tomorrow, Thursday, November 19th will be postponed until Spring 2021.

Local elected officials and business leaders will plant a horticulturally propagated sapling created from the Jesse Owens Oak tree at Rockefeller Park Lagoon Thursday, November 19 at 3:30 p.m. The tree was grown by Holden Forests & Gardens and Klyn Nurseries Inc. The genetically identical tree will be planted for future generations to enjoy.

The planting will be live streamed on the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Facebook page on Thursday, November 19 at 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The Jesse Owens Olympic Oak tree is a powerful symbol of his legacy. Owens brought home four gold medals from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and was the first person ever to win four gold medals at one time in Olympic track history. As a Black competitor in Nazi Germany, his success powerfully disproved Adolf Hitler’s idea of white supremacy.

The Olympic Committee presented Owens with four English oak saplings—which were planted in Berlin, behind his childhood home, at The Ohio State University, and at James Ford Rhodes High School in Cleveland where he attended track practice. Currently, the high school is the only known place to visit one of these beautiful legacy trees. The tree is showing signs of age-related distress.

Stay tuned here for pictures and more from tomorrow’s event!