Marian Anderson’s Rīga Concert
In 1939 famed mezzo-soprano Marian Anderson was refused permission to sing to an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) owned the then segregated hall. Black patrons had to sit at the back of Constitution Hall and public bathrooms were not available to them.
The public was outraged, famous musicians protested, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Roosevelt along with others encouraged Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes to arrange a free open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for Easter Sunday. On April 9, 1939 Marian Anderson sang before 75,000 people and millions of radio listeners in a much heralded and moving concert.
Marian Anderson received much better treatment in Europe, where she made her debut in 1933. In the mid 1930’s she toured extensively in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.   In January, 1935 she performed at the National Opera in Rīga, Latvia. Her well received concert was attended by Latvia’s President Alberts Kviesis and Minister of Education Ludvigs Adamovičs, among other dignitaries. –-- Artis Inka
Latvijas Kareivis, Nr.21 (25.01.1935)

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