Monday, April 13, 2009

Marian Anderson, Easter 1939

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marian Anderson performs at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, 1939.

"Seventy years ago, a concert took place on Easter at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. At least 75,000 people attended the performance, which was heard across the country on NBC Radio. The performer was opera singer Marian Anderson.

The location for the concert was not chosen for its audience capacity. Anderson had tried to book Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, which owned the hall, refused to let her perform there because she was black.

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt interceded and arranged for the alternate venue." (more from NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, April 12, 2009)


Marian Anderson was one of the leading contraltos of the 20th century. If you haven't heard her, please give a listen:



4 comments:

kimberly said...

Mrs. Roosevelt was such a pistol. My grandmother admired her so much. I remember we were talking about ER once & I said to my grandmother that there were rumors that FDR & ER had affairs, and that ER was said to have had affairs with other women, and my grandmother said that they were both wonderful people, no matter who they slept with. My grandma rocked.

denisebrain said...

Rocked indeed: Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and your grandmother.

kimberly said...

The ladies of the earlier generations (my grandma was born in 1916 [d. 1993]) were so much stronger than they get credit for. Where would we be without them...???

denisebrain said...

I agree! My mother was older when I was born, she was born in 1920. I feel as if nearly everything I know about competence, tolerance, fairness, kindness, perseverance, pursuit of knowledge, hopefulness, respect, compassion and strength comes from her. I'm really not exaggerating. I think I will bring her up in my blog in time for Mother's Day next weekend.