Marian Anderson, a classical singer, was one of the all-time greats, both as an artist and as a cultural figure who transcended racial boundaries. She is best known for singing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 after being denied permission to do so at Washington’s DAR Constitution Hall for an integrated audience. She sang “America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee).”

Known as one of the finest contraltos of the land, Marian was the first African American to sing with New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1955. She was also the first African American singer to perform at the White House when she sang the National Anthem at Eisenhower’s presidential inauguration in 1957. On February 17, 1902, Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia and attended public schools. When she was younger, she had a remarkable talent for singing, and as she grew, Marian would help shape American music history.