Small logo of
Thornwood girl
designed in 1995         Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals during the 1936 Summer Olympics
Arrived in theaters February 19, 2016

UNA Highway takes
you to Jesse Owens
Birthplace & Museum
  Olympics TV started in Berlin as Owens competed for Gold 
Click for facts behind German Olympics Television

JAVA is everywhere -- Mobile phones, Laptop computers, Blu-ray / DVD players, and TV set-top boxes.

Jesse Owens' Memorial Olympic Site -- The guide that followed the torch to the Jesse Owens birthplace on its path across US to the Atlanta Olympics. Jesse died in 1980.

Salute Jesse!

Alabama to Ohio State


(Dates start with Flame's 1996 arrival in Oakville, Alabama from Los Angeles
and then go back in time toward Hannibal, Missouri)

June 29
Jesse's grandson holds torch.

Stuart Owens Rankin, Jesse Owens' grandson, poses with
admirer as Olympic Relay escort looks on, just before the
OLYMPIC FLAME is passed to Rankin near the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park in
North Alabama.

June 29 . . . Festivities begin at 9 am and the OLYMPIC FLAME arrives at 12:45 pm at the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park. The unveiling of the Jesse Owens visitors center, memorial museum and renovated home with other events follows the Flame's arrival. A replica of the 1936 Berlin Flame is ignited by the Torch runner before the relay departs for Birmingham.

June 28 . . . Today's relay starts in Nashville, Tennessee and pauses tonight at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is the home of Thornwood's mascot tree and just 50 miles from the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park at Oakville. The Flemming Hills mascot in Huntsville is a cockspur thorn (officially a Yellow Locust). The Thornwood mascot is a near cousin of the Blackthorn tree, that is native to both Ireland and England. BBC America sells Irish-heritage walking sticks made from the Blackthorn after craftsmen remove intimidating stout, vicious cockspur thorns. In January 2009 Dr. Foote interviewed World War II radar specialist living in Northampton, England. She had monitored V-2 rockets, that were aimed at London from Germany, as a small green blip on an electronic screen in Belgium-based radar station. But, she had seen her first actual V-2 Rocket at the US Space and Rocket Center while visiting her daughter in Huntsville several years before the interview.

June 25 . . . Just four days from the arrival at the Jesse Owens' Birthplace in Oakville, Alabama, the OLYMPIC FLAME travels from Charlotte, North Carolina to Greenville, South Carolina. Today's Torch relayers from South Carolina include Reico Barber, graduating senior, Rock Hill High School; and R. Shell Dula, head football coach at Union High School.

June 21
OLYMPIC FLAME in front of White House.
Before leaving Washington, a Torch bearer ignites the
OLYMPIC FLAME near the White House. Later, the
Torch relay visits Mount Vernon on its way to Richmond.

June 20 . . . The Torch relay takes a break at Washington's Mount Vernon College, site of the 1996 Olympic Soccer Village. Here, Olympians hold their home countries' flags, before the OLYMPIC FLAME is transported to the U.S. Capitol to remain overnight.

June 16 . . . In Hartford, Connecticut, the OLYMPIC FLAME passes the homes of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. The Jesse Owens' Memorial Park is just a few miles from Mooresville, Alabama, primary filming location for Disney's TOM AND HUCK, adapted from Mark Twain's masterpiece about them. In less than two weeks, the Torch runners will arrive in North Alabama at Jesse Owens' birthplace.

June 9 . . . For the OLYMPIC FLAME's journey to the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park in Oakville, Alabama, today's arrival in Cleveland, Ohio is the most significant since the FLAME left Los Angeles for Atlanta. In Cleveland, the Torch bearers pass the Jesse Owens' statue. As a Cleveland middle and then high school student Owens set two world records, putting him on the Buckeye's track and field prospect list. He gained national collegiate fame running for The Ohio State University.

May 30
Mark Twain's home showing fence along FLAME'S path.
TOM AND HUCK, the Disney movie now available on DVD, was filmed
in North Alabama, birthplace of Jesse Owens.

But, today, May 30, 1996, the OLYMPIC FLAME visits Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's hometown, for a TOM AND HUCK celebration on its trip to the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park in Oakville, Alabama. The FLAME bearer runs past Tom Sawyer's fence, right next to the house where Twain was born in Hannibal. Tourists flock to Mooresville, Alabama, the state's oldest town, to see locations used by Disney in the film adaptation of Mark Twain's masterpiece and to other famous North Alabama tourist attractions, such as the birthplaces of Helen Keller and W. C. Handy in the Shoals.

Thornwood's mascot tree in Huntsville,
where citizens celebrated 50 years of Space Achievement
along side V-2 rocket that was showered on London

To main site menu on
Thornwood Publisher's
 home page at ChotankUNA Highway takes
all to Jesse Owens
Birthplace & history of
Disney's America defeat
in Virginia by Rudy A. --
Child of North AlabamaTake a giant footstep!
"Disney [in Virginia]",
"Jesse Owens" & 
"Go Home"
take you there
Buttons above in THORNWOOD logo are Clickable

The THORNWOOD  mascot is a magnificent, cockspur thorn tree at 2110 Byrd Spring Road, Huntsville, Alabama. One North Alabama tree expert says it's a Yellow Locust, a "senior" speciman of the variety. The Thornwood mascot is a near-cousin of the Blackthorn tree from Scotland, Ireland, and England that historically was used to make traditional Irish Shillelaghs. BBC America sells Irish-heritage walking sticks from Blackthorn branches, but craftsmen remove all thorns before shaping and finishing the BBC sticks. A linking sidewalk from the tree to parking, eating, and hotel venues was completed in 2004, after the Flemming Hills subdivision sign was moved to the south side of Byrd Spring Road to open up the sidewalk path. For those tourists wishing to do an auto drive-by, Byrd Spring Road has just been resurfaced in 2007. But out-of-town drivers should turn around in the entrance to Plantation South Condos, since a trespassing sign clearly prohibits visitor traffic into the development. Signs, encouraging tourists to park in next-door Church lot, prohibit entrance by commercial vehicles while allowing all others to use the parking.
However, the Church signs do not sanction multi-day, overnight stays by anyone.


Travel information from North Alabama sources: Tourists flying into North Alabama should consider Huntsville International Airport ( or the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport ( photo is used on giant new billboard on I-65 north near Alabama Welcome Center at Cullman

An Alabama 4-lane highway leads from the Shoals and from Cullman all the way to access roads to take you to the Owens' birthplace. Official state maps from Alabama Welcome Centers show the highway to Oakville several miles southeast of Moulton. The turns from Route #157, which the Alabama Legislature renamed "The University of North Alabama Highway", are marked with official State of Alabama highway signs. When driving north on Interstate #65 from Birmingham, tourists may follow directions on a giant newly-redesigned Jesse Owens billboard. The sign faces south near Welcome Center/Rest Stop on east side of I-65 before Cullman exits. The original 2008 billboard designers chose the same view of Owens featured in the photo that Johns Hopkins University Press used in 2002. provided the photo capture file to Johns Hopkins for a brochure promoting Reviews in American History.

Copyright (c) 1995 -- 2015

Avon Edward Foote, Ph.D.
Dorothy Gargis Foote, Ph.D.
Huntsville-Decatur-Florence DMA (TV Market)



Photo by Avon Edward Foote.
Juxaposition of BBC TV tower
with an original stairway Spinx
that stands from before Crystal
Palace burned near Sydenham in
London, 1936.
Crystal Palace Tower of BBC Television
before signal transmitter
converted to digital in April 2012
Photo by Dr. Avon Edward Foote on assignment with his grandson,
Jason Marshall Foote of Roanoke, Virginia



  Reviewed  .  Revised  .  Refreshed   25 October 2016
Turns 21 on November 19th