Thursday, September 18, 2014



Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we begin a review of the ten most popular posts of our JFK+50 blog since we began in November 2010.  This review will include updates and revisions of the original posts. 

Thanks to all our visitors worldwide.


April 9, 2011, Washington, D.C.
(JFK+50) African-American contralto, Marian Anderson*, gave a free concert on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial, here in the Nation's Capital seventy-two years ago, April 9, 1939.

Marian Anderson 
Lincoln Memorial
April 9, 1939

Miss Anderson was originally scheduled to perform at Constitution Hall but the concert was cancelled by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who resigned from the DAR in protest, arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial.

In her letter of resignation, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote...

"I am in complete disagreement with the attitude taken in refusing Constitutional Hall to a great artist.  You had an opportunity to lead in an enlightened way and it seems to me that your organization has failed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower made Marian Anderson an honorary delegate to the United Nations and she was invited by President John F. Kennedy to sing the National Anthem at his inauguration on January 20, 1961.

She was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Mr. Kennedy.

Marian Anderson
by Carl Van Vechten
Library of Congress Image

*Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was born in Philadelphia, PA.  She grew up in the Union Baptist Church where she began singing in the choir at age six.  Four years later she sang in the People's Chorus.  With a scholarship provided by her church, MA took voice lessons and graduated from high school in 1921.

Although denied entrance into the Philadelphia Music Academy, she won 1st Prize in a 1925 NY Philharmonic contest.  She performed with the group on Aug. 26, 1925 and at Carnegie Hall in 1928.  Miss Anderson died at the age of 96 in Portland, Oregon.