Monday, February 25, 2008
Eleanor Roosevelt Resigns From Daughters of the American Revolution
In 1936, African American singer/songwriter Marian Anderson was invited to sing at the White House by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt, a long time supporter of Civil Rights, hoped that the invitation might alleviate some of the racial tensions of her day. Aside from her performance at the White House, Mrs. Anderson was booked to perform at Constitution Hall that same week.
Unfortunately, the racism of the day prevailed, and Marian Anderson was not granted access to Constitution Hall. Part of the reason for the denial was a 1932 rule adopted by the Daughters of the American Revolution, which stated that no person of color could perform at Constitution Hall. First Lady Roosevelt, who was an active member of the organization, immediately resigned out of protests. Needless to say, the resignation of a person of Roosevelt's stature did not go unnoticed, and the organization changed its rules shortly thereafter.
Here is an interesting article regarding the Marian Anderson saga and Eleanor Roosevelt's resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution.