Lincoln Memorial

In 1939 Anderson was engaged to perform an Easter Sunday concert at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. When the managers of the Hall ÷ The Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) ÷ learned that a Black singer had been contracted, they cancelled the concert. Ironically, it was this action that ended up as the catalyst for Andersonâs rise to national prominence as an artist. Not only did First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, then a member of D.A.R., resign in protest of D.A.R.âs action, but U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes arranged for Anderson to perform a free outdoor concert at the base of the Lincoln Memorial (the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would later deliver his famous ăI Have a Dreamä speech as part of the historic 1963 March on Washington). In response to Ickesâ public invitation, 75,000 people came to hear Marian Anderson sing. She became an instant national symbol of human freedom and dignity. Anderson included three spirituals in her 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert: ăGospel Train,ä ăTrampinâä, and ăMy Soul Is Anchored in the Lord.ä - Sweet Chariot: Marian Anderson

LARGER SIZE beneath top photo