Digital Repository

Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson, 1939

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt married Franklin Roosevelt in 1905. A remarkably active and engaged First Lady, she supported civil rights, wrote articles for women, and advocated for humanitarian concerns.

Marian Anderson, one of the most talented American singers of the twentieth century, became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. With the aid of President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Anderson performed to a crowd of thousands on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson, 1939. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.