MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: MARIAN ANDERSON, ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, THE CONCERT AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
In 1939, while Fascists were advancing across Europe, Eleanor Roosevelt publicly resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The First Lady quit the DAR because they would not allow Marian Anderson, the world-renowned contralto, to sing at Constitution Hall, a building they controlled. The DAR refused this suggestion because Ms. Anderson was African American. Over the next few months, Ms. Anderson and Mrs. Roosevelt, along with the NAACP, and the Department of the Interior, planned a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where 75,000 Americans heard the great contralto sing. In this talk, SRJC’s esteemed historian, Anne Donegan, will discuss how unlike previous events at national monuments, this event was not segregated and was seen by many as the start of the modern Civil Rights Movement.