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Bibliography and Book Excerpts

A number of historians have researched the events leading up to and following Marian Anderson's 1939 concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. These publications provide an in-depth telling of those events and give a glimpse of the relationship between Anderson and the DAR following the events.

Allan Keiler.  Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey. Scribner: 2000.

“In late September 1942, a few days before the start of her annual tour, Anderson received an invitation from the DAR to appear in Constitution Hall…” (Keiler, pp. 234-239)

“On March 14, 1953, as part of the American University concert series, Anderson sang to an unsegregated audience in Constitution Hall. ‘May I say that when I finally walked into Constitution Hall and sang from its stage I had no feeling different from what I have in other halls. There was no sense of triumph. I felt it was a beautiful concert hall, and I was happy to sing in it.’” (Keiler, pp. 259-260)

"At a news conference, Anderson and her manager announced plans for her to retire from the concert stage after a world tour that would be launched at Constitution Hall in 1964. There were the inevitable questions from the press about Anderson’s feelings toward the DAR. ‘I forgave the DAR many years ago. You lose a lot of time hating people,’ she told the reporters.” (Keiler, p. 312)

Patrick Hayes. “White Artists Only: Fifty Years Ago Marian Anderson Sang at the Lincoln Memorial, and All Eyes Were on Washington.” Washingtonian, April 1989.

“The sadness in this story lies in the embarrassment to the city of Washington and to all of its citizens who were trapped in the customs of the time. The DAR continues as a patriotic organization and as a source of historical information, and I believe that the members of today, 50 years after the turmoil of 1939, need not be held accountable for the deeds of long ago.” (Hayes, p. 103)