American Experience: Boys of ‘36


The Boys of ‘36 explores how nine working-class young men from the University of Washington took the rowing world and the nation by storm when they captured the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. These sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers overcame tremendous hardships — psychological, physical and economic — to beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast but Adolf Hitler’s elite German rowers. Their unexpected victory, and the obstacles they overcame to achieve it, gave hope to a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Depression.

Featuring interviews with author Daniel James Brown, historians and surviving children of the 1936 Washington team, The Boys of ’36 originally premiered on American Experience in conjunction with the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 80th anniversary of the miracle crew’s triumph.


Sunday, July 28, at 9pm on ThinkTV14