Young men of courage and integrity:  Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City - in black gloves to signify black power, in socks to signify their poverty.  They were kicked off the Olympic team, received death threats and more

Young men of courage & integrity:Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City - in black gloves to signify black power, in socks to signify their poverty. They were kicked off the Olympic team, received death threats and

Forty-six years after John Carlos and Tommie Smith's Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics, LIFE.com remembers John Dominis's portrait of the unforgettable moment.

The Black Power Salute That Rocked the 1968 Olympics

American sprinters Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right), after winning gold and bronze Olympic medals in the respectively, raise their fists in a Black Power salute, Mexico, Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left.

45 Years Ago Today: John Carlos and Tommie Smith Give Black Power Salute at 1968 Olympic Games

45 Years Ago Today: John Carlos and Tommie Smith Give Black Power Salute at 1968 Olympic Games

OCTOBER 16, 1968 - Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Gam... - Provided by Redbook

OCTOBER 16, 1968 - Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200-meter run at the 1968 Olympic Gam... - Provided by Redbook

American track and field athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos, right, gold and bronze medal winners in the 200m, protest with the Black Power salute as they stand on the winner’s podium at the Summer Olympic games, Mexico City, in 1968, photographed by John Dominis Photograph: Courtesy of John Dominis/Getty Images

American track and field athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos, right, gold and bronze medal winners in the 200m, protest with the Black Power salute as they stand on the winner’s podium at the Summer Olympic games, Mexico City, in 1968, photographed by John Dominis Photograph: Courtesy of John Dominis/Getty Images

The warm-up suit worn by athlete Tommie Smith while raising his hand in the Black Power salute on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics. | 29 Must-See Items At The New Smithsonian Museum Of African American History - BuzzFeed News

29 Must-See Items At The New Smithsonian Museum Of African American History

The warm-up suit worn by athlete Tommie Smith while raising his hand in the Black Power salute on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics.

Peter Norman, John Carlos & Tommie Smith 1968 Olympics. Read about the heroism of Peter Norman!

Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 …

J'adore cette photo !! Tommie Smith and John Carlos & Peter Norman 10/16/1968

16 Oct 1968 - Tommie Smith and John Carlos win gold and bronze medals in Mexico City Olimpic Games

The National Museum of African American History and Culture - THE BLACK POWER SALUTE Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists when the United States national anthem was played during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

A curated walk through the hallways of the newest Smithsonian museum before it opens next week. 13 years in the making, it attempts to depict the pain and pride of the black experience in America.

Wrong dimensions ;-/ Black Power (Tommie Smith & John Carlos, Olympics, 1968) Photo Print Poster Masterprint at AllPosters.com

Black Power (Tommie Smith & John Carlos, Olympics, 1968) Photo Print Poster

44 Years later Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medal winners.

newmanology: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medal winners in Mexico. Photograph by Platon, originally published in The New Yorker October 16 was the anniversary of Smith and Carlos’s famous black power Olympics medal podium protest.

The Black Power salute of gold medallist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. | 32 Epic Historic Photos That We'll Never Live Up To. Chills.

24 Of The Most Badass Moments In History

The Black Power salute of gold medallist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. 32 Epic Historic Photos That We'll Never Live Up To.

After the race, Carlos and Smith told Norman what they were planning to do during the ceremony. As Flanagan wrote: "They asked Norman if he believed in human rights. He said he did. They asked him if he believed in God. Norman, who came from a Salvation Army background, said he believed strongly in God. We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat. He said, 'I'll stand with you'." Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes. He didn't. "I saw love."

He was persecuted by the Australian government for supporting John Carlos and Tommie Smith when they made their famous raised-fist gesture at the 1968 Olympics medal

Tommie Smith & John Carlos

oh and don't forget the Australian who never got to race again because he worn a button to support the other two runners.

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