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Lincoln's Front-Row Seat to History

By Emma Fidel And Jane Hwang - 2013-08-27T22:31:28Z

Photograph by Corbis

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The Trouble She Saw

Contralto singer Marian Anderson was prohibited from performing at the capital's Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 because she was black. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization in protest before helping arrange for Anderson, then one of the top concert performers in the country, to sing at the Lincoln Memorial instead. Approximately 75,000 people gathered to hear Anderson sing "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee," according to PBS. You can watch a clip of her performance here.