This Day in Black History: April 9, 1939

Marian Anderson

This Day in Black History: April 9, 1939

Marian Anderson performs at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939.

Published April 9, 2014

The Daughters of the American Revolution denied Marian Anderson the right to perform at Washington's Constitution Hall because of her race, but she was given an even greater opportunity. On April 9, 1939, Anderson graced the Lincoln Memorial for a history-making performance.

Seventy-five thousand people witnessed the opera icon perform at the free concert and millions tuned into a radio broadcast.

It was former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who made it possible for Anderson to perform at the monument. Roosevelt protested the Daughters of the American Revolution banning of Anderson by leaving the group and setting up the Lincoln Memorial concert for Anderson.

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(Photo: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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