The Anniversary of a Momentous Occasion
75 years ago today, something truly amazing happened. After being denied entrance to Constitution Hall by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) because of her skin color, singer Marian Anderson put on the concert of a lifetime. At the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, Anderson took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and sang for the crowd of 75,000 who had gathered to witness her performance.
The video of Anderson singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” is quite moving, and absolutely worth a watch. You can’t tell in the black-and-white clip, but Anderson was actually wearing a bright orange jacket, which now belongs to the Smithsonian. You can see if for yourself at the entrance to the African American History and Culture Gallery in the National Museum of American History.