“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Danbury in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)

Marian Anderson

Danbury, Connecticut

— The Museum in the Streets® —

Marian Anderson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
1. Marian Anderson Marker
Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia on February 27, 1897. Although her early musical training was sporadic, a scholarship enabled her to study abroad under distinguished teachers.

When Arturo Toscanini heard her perform at the Salzburg festival in 1935, the maestro was so impressed that he said to her: “A voice like yours is heard only once in a hundred years.”

After gaining international prominence, she returned to America. When she lost the opportunity to perform in Constitution Hall in 1939, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States, arranged for Marian Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Over 75,000 people were in attendance.

In 1955 Marian Anderson was the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House. Shortly before her career ended a decade later, she sang at the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy.

As a black American who overcame adversity to achieve renown, Marian Anderson embodied the civil rights movement. However, this aspect of her life should not overshadow her stature as a performer. Musical experts, noting
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the uniqueness of her vocal qualities, have acclaimed her to be one of the greatest contraltos of the twentieth century. [Mermelstein, David. “Two Marian Andersons, Both of Them Real.” New York Times, 23 Feb. 1997.]

For over fifty years, Marian Anderson lived with her husband on their property called “Marianna Farm.” After her death, her music studio was moved to the property of the Danbury Museum on Main Street.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 12.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentWomen. In addition, it is included in the Eleanor Roosevelt, the Former U.S. Presidents: #35 John F. Kennedy, and the The Museum in the Streets®: Danbury, Connecticut series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is February 27, 1897.
Location. 41° 23.718′ N, 73° 27.191′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Library Place, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 257 Main Street, Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 248 Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seal of the City (within shouting distance of
Marian Anderson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
2. Marian Anderson Marker
this marker); Charles Edward Ives – The Father of Modern Music (within shouting distance of this marker); Danbury Fair Days (within shouting distance of this marker); Danbury – The Hat City (within shouting distance of this marker); The Danbury Fire Department (within shouting distance of this marker); Trains, Trolleys & Transportation (within shouting distance of this marker); Savings Bank of Danbury at Bankers’ Row (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Also see . . .  Marian Anderson on Wikipedia. (Submitted on January 8, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Marian Anderson image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
3. Marian Anderson
This portrait of Marian Anderson by Betsy Graves Reyneau hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“Arturo Toscanini said that Marian Anderson had a voice that came along ‘once in a hundred years.’ When one of Anderson's teachers first heard her sing, the magnitude of her talent moved him to tears. Because she was black, however, her initial prospects as a concert singer in this country were sharply limited, and her early professional triumphs took place mostly in Europe. The magnitude of her musical gifts ultimately won her recognition in the United States as well. Despite that acclaim, in 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution banned her from performing at Constitution Hall. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt ultimately intervened and facilitated Anderson's Easter Sunday outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial—an event witnessed by 75,000 and broadcast to a radio audience of millions. The affair generated great sympathy tor Anderson and became a defining moment in America's civil rights movement.” — National Portrait Gallery
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 8, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 659 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on March 12, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 8, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.   3. submitted on October 1, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 7, 2023