Today in History: Marian Anderson

Washington's prominent figures listen to Marian Anderson's singing
Today in History–January 7–the Library of Congress features singer Marian Anderson, who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on his day in 1955. Barred from attending a Philadelphia music school because of her race, Anderson’s family, friends and church helped fund private voice lessons. Although she toured Europe and the United States extensively, Anderson continued to suffer discrimination. In the most infamous incident, in 1939 Anderson was prohibited from performing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization in protest and Anderson was invited to perform on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial (see image above) on April 9 of that same year. Find out more about this singular contralto by visiting the Today in History section and reviewing the resources listed below.

Marian Anderson primary source set

Marian Anderson song recordings

Oral histories recalling Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson image set

Marian Anderson historical newspaper coverage

Contemporary U.S. legislation related to Marian Anderson

Discovering Marian Anderson primary sources from the collections at the University of Pennsylvania

Marian Anderson Performed at the Metropolitan Opera from America’s Library

Library of Congress blog posts