Full Name: Marian Anderson
Why Famous: One of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century.
In 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson, an African American to sing to an integrated audience in their Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Thousands of DAR members, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned from the organization as a result.
In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, helped arrange an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for Anderson. The concert with a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions was a sensation.
Later in 1955, she became the first African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera.
- 1939-04-09 Marian Anderson sings before 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- 1955-01-07 Marian Anderson becomes the 1st African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera