The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were held in London. After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and then Helsinki; the 1944 Games had been provisionally planned for London.
US pole vaulter Guinn Smith (C) attempting to break world record.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
The Games opened on 29 July, a brilliantly sunny day. Army bands began playing at 2pm for the 85,000 spectators in Wembley Stadium. The international and national organisers arrived at 2.35pm and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, with Queen Mary and other members of the Royal Family, at 2.45pm. Fifteen minutes later the competitors entered the stadium in a procession that took 50 minutes. The last team was that of the United Kingdom. When it had passed the saluting base, Lord Burghley began his welcome:
Your Majesty: The hour has struck. A visionary dream has today become a glorious reality. At the end of the worldwide struggle in 1945, many institutions and associations were found to have withered and only the strongest had survived. How, many wondered, had the great Olympic Movement prospered?
After welcoming the athletes to two weeks of “keen but friendly rivalry”, he said London represented a “warm flame of hope for a better understanding in the world which has burned so low.”
At 4pm, the time shown on Big Ben on the London Games symbol, the King declared the Games open, 2,500 pigeons were set free and the Olympic Flag raised to its 35ft flagpole at the end of the stadium. The Royal Horse Artillery sounded a 21-gun salute and the last runner in the Torch Relay ran a lap of the track – created with cinders from the domestic coal fires of Leicester – and climbed the steps to the Olympic cauldron. After saluting the crowd, he turned and lit the flame. After more speeches, Donald Finlay of the British team (given his RAF rank of wing-commander) took the Olympic Oath on behalf of all competitors. The National Anthem was sung and the massed athletes turned and marched out of the stadium, led by Greece, tailed by Britain.
The 580-page official report concluded:
Thus were launched the Olympic Games of London, under the most happy auspices. The smooth-running Ceremony, which profoundly moved not only all who saw it but also the millions who were listening-in on the radio throughout the world, and the glorious weather in which it took place, combined to give birth to a spirit which was to permeate the whole of the following two weeks of thrilling and intensive sport.
Turkish heavyweight champion Ahmet Kirecci (C) being hoisted to shoulders of admirers after winning finals of Greco-Roman wrestling event in Olympic Games.
High diving winner Vicki Manolo Draves.
Jamaican athlete Herb McKenley (C) standing on track.
American bantamweight Joseph DePietro competing in weightlifting event at the Summer Olympics where he took the gold. (I love the perspective on this one)