Owens competing at the long jump at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

Jesse Owens' historic Day of Days was immortalised at the University of Michigan's Ferry Field with a World Heritage Plaque almost 90 years after the Olympian stunned the world by establishing four world records in athletics in a 45-minute-span.

It was at the Big Ten meet where Owens made his mark in the sport. On 25 May, 1935 the 21-year-old set four world records in the 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 220-yard low hurdles and long jump. His long-jump record at 8.13 metres made him the first to surpass the 8 metre mark and his record would be unbeaten for 25 years. 

Marlene Dortch, Owens' granddaughter, and Michigan's Athletic Director Warde Manuel unveiled the plaque in Ann Arbor on 9 May, just ahead of the Big Ten track championships. "I came here to the track yesterday and I saw some young girls practising and that just really spoke to me, because generations later, there are young people who are on this field who ran see this and be inspired. That would mean the world to him, because what he really wanted to do was inspire young people and make it a better world," his granddaughter Dortch told World Athletics at the event.

Though the Ohio State sophomore made history on Michigan home turf, Michigan's Athletic Director says that Owens' achievements goes beyond the schools' rivalry. 

"This goes beyond the rivalry (between Michigan and Ohio State). That's what I want people to understand. This is about history. It's about what Jesse Owens did, not only in the Big 10 but for our country," Manuel commented. 

"I don't know if you remember around the Olympics what was going on back then when he set these world records and then went to the Olympics … All the vitriol and everything that was going on in the world. He ran for America and so, there is no Ohio State-Michigan rivalry…This is about celebrating the great man that did a service for this country that will always forever be remembered."

Owens crosses the finish line of the 100m during Olympic Games in Berlin. GETTY IMAGES
Owens crosses the finish line of the 100m during Olympic Games in Berlin. GETTY IMAGES

Michigan head coach Kevin Sullivan agrees. "The plaque is dedicated to his athletic achievements on this day in 1935. It’s really bigger than that and I think that Jesse Owens the man was bigger than Jesse Owens the athlete," he said. 

Owens also made headlines on the international stage when he became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad at the politically-charged 1936 Berlin Olympics

After his retirement from the sport Owens dedicated much of his life to underprivileged youth and was a board member and was former director of the Chicago Boys' Club.