On this day in 1897, Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia


First lady Eleanor Roosevelt is shown with opera singer Marian Anderson at Richmond, Va., July 2, 1939, after the first lady made a presentation of the Spingarn Medal to the singer. The medal is given to black Americans in any "honorable field of endeavor." Occasion was conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (AP Photo)
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Marian Anderson, who became one of the most celebrated singers during the 20th century, was born on Feb. 27, 1897, in Philadelphia.

Anderson’s career took off in the 1930s and 1940s, as she performed for audiences around the world. In 1939, she made history when she performed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after being denied the opportunity to sing at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution, who had a whites-only policy.

The singer made history in 1955 as the first African-American to perform as a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.

Anderson was also a vocal advocate for civil rights, using her platform to speak out against discrimination and inequality.

Marian Anderson passed away at the age of 96 in 1993.

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