Bolt brought the action at the Olympic Stadium to a fitting close, as he anchored the Jamaican 4 x 100m Relay team to gold in a new world record.
He was only level with the USA's Ryan Bailey when he took the baton after the first three legs run by Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, but stormed down the home straight to stop the clock at 36.84, taking 0.2 seconds off their previous record.
The USA claimed silver and Trinidad and Tobago the bronze.
Britain's Mo Farah was also celebrating on an amazing night, having earlier joined an elite list of athletes to complete the Olympic long-distance double by backing up his 10,000m title with the 5000m crown.
Russia's Mariya Savinova produced a perfectly-timed race to claim gold in the women's 800m, beating former world champion Caster Semenya by more than a second, while Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott was the winner of the men's Javelin Throw and Russia's Anna Chicherova claimed High Jump gold.
The most emphatic win of the night came in the women's 4 x 400m Relay as the USA stormed to gold, with the quartet of DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross leading from start to finish to beat Russia by almost three-and-a-half seconds. Jamaica claimed the bronze medal.
In the men’s Olympic Football final, Mexico secured arguably the greatest triumph in their history by winning London 2012 gold with a 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley Stadium.
Oribe Peralta wrote his name into Mexican folklore with a double against the five-time world champions, who many believed were destined finally to end their agonising wait for Olympic Games glory.
At Eton Dorney, New Zealand's Lisa Carrington stormed to gold in the women's Kayak Singles (K1) 200m. Making her Olympic debut, Carrington left experienced European kayakers trailing in her wake as she cruised home ahead of Ukrainian Inna Osypenko-Radomska and Hungarian Natasa Douchev-Janics.
Ukrainian Yuri Cheban took gold in the men's Canoe Single (C1) 200m and the Russian pair of Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko won the men's Kayak Double (K2) 200m sprint.
The home fans also had something to cheer as Britain's Ed McKeever powered home to claim the men's Kayak Single (K1) 200m.
Russia's Sergey Kirdyapkin won the 50km Race Walk in an Olympic record time.
The former world champion finished in 3:35.59, almost a minute clear of Australia's Jared Tallent, who took silver for the second Games in succession, with China's Si Tianfeng claiming bronze.
The women's 20km Race walk title went to Russia's Elena Lashmanova in a new world record time of 1:25.02.
France claimed a 10th gold medal as Julie Bresset cruised to victory in the women's Cross-country Mountain Bike at Hadleigh Farm. World Under-23 champion Bresset led from the gun and triumphed in 1:30.52.
Russia's Evgeniya Kanaeva became the first rhythmic gymnast to defend an Olympic title after she won gold with a series of breathtaking performances in the Individual All-Round final at Wembley Arena.
Kanaeva was in a class of her own as she scored 116.900 to retain her title, ahead of fellow Russian Daria Dmitrieva (114.500) in silver with Liubou Charkashyna of Belarus (111.700) taking bronze.
Tamara Echegoyen-skippered Spain surprised favourites Australia to win gold in the women's Elliot 6m Match Racing class - the last Sailing medal of London 2012.
Australia twice recovered from going behind in the best-of-five series, but Echegoyen, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega went on to ensure Spain topped the podium.
Brazil retained their Olympic Volleyball title courtesy of a fine performance against the USA. In a repeat of the Beijing 2008 showpiece, the South Americans once again got the better of their arch-rivals, seeing them off 3-1.
Artur Taymazov cemented his place in Freestyle Wrestling history after he beat Davit Modzmanashvili to win his third successive gold in the 120kg class.
Taymazov, who also has a silver from Sydney, defeated the Georgian 1-0 1-0 to become the only wrestler in history to win three gold medals.
Jan Philipp Rabente was the unlikely hero as he scored twice as Germany successfully defended their Olympic men's Hockey title with victory over the Netherlands.
American David Boudia won the 10m Platform Diving final, edging out former world champion Qiu Bo and home hope Tom Daley while David Svoboda clinched the Modern Pentathlon crown.
Elsewhere, the USA beat France to win the women's Basketball title 86-50.
Milica Mandic claimed Serbia's first Taekwondo Olympic gold when she beat Anne-Caroline Graffe of France 9-7 in the women's + 67kg final.
The men’s +80kg gold was won by Rome policeman Carlo Molfetta on judges' decision after a classic final against Anthony Obame, whose silver was a first Olympic medal for Gabon.
China's Zou Shiming became the first man to retain the Light Fly Weight Olympic Boxing title, claiming victory in the gold-medal match against Thailand's Kaeo Pongprayoon.
Great Britain's Luke Campbell claimed the Bantam Weight title with victory over Ireland's John Joe Nevin, while Ukrainian top seed Oleksandr Usyk claimed the prestigious Heavy Weight gold after seeing off the committed Italian Clemente Russo.
Japanese Middle Weight Ryota Murata edged a close final against Brazil's Esquiva Falcao Florentino 14-13.