The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution deeply regrets that Marian Anderson was not given the opportunity to perform her 1939 Easter concert in Constitution Hall, but today we join all Americans in grateful recognition that her historic performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a pivotal point in the struggle for racial equality.
Ms. Anderson’s legendary concert will always be remembered as a milestone in the Civil Rights movement. The beauty of her voice, amplified by her courage and grace, brought attention to the eloquence of the many voices urging our nation to overcome prejudice and intolerance. It sparked change not just in the DAR but in all of America.
Our organization truly wishes that history could be re-written, but knowing that it cannot, we are proud to note that DAR has learned from the past.
DAR welcomed Marian Anderson to Constitution Hall on a number of occasions soon after 1939, including a benefit concert for war relief in 1943. It is also meaningful to us that this notable American chose Constitution Hall as the place where she would launch her farewell American tour in 1964.
In 2005, we were honored to host at our national headquarters the dedication ceremony of the Marian Anderson commemorative stamp at the invitation of the United States Postal Service and Ms. Anderson’s family. In 2009, on the 70th anniversary of Ms. Anderson’s Lincoln Memorial concert, DAR joined with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission in hosting a special reception at our headquarters following a Marian Anderson tribute concert and naturalization ceremony. On the 75th anniversary in 2014, we were proud to host the Of Thee We Sing concert in DAR Constitution Hall to pay tribute to the talent, strength and courage of this remarkable and inspiring woman.
The Daughters of the American Revolution celebrates the life, the talent and the legacy of Marian Anderson. America is a better place because of her dreams and her sacrifices. As a nation, we can be grateful that she opened so many doors for all those who follow; and, as an organization, the DAR is genuinely pleased to pay tribute to her memory.