The 25 Most Important Civil Rights Moments in Music History

Marian Anderson Performs at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter

Date: April 9, 1939

When the Daughters of the American Revolution refused Anderson the right to sing to an integrated crowd, it became national news. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization in protest and with FDR helped Anderson secure a performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to massive fanfare and success. Millions tuned in on the radio, nearly 100,000 showed up in person, and the groundbreaking show set the stage for Anderson's next legendary moment: integrating the Metropolitan Opera in NYC in 1955. Eight years later, she'd go on to sing at the March on Washington during which Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.

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