paul henderson photograph collection


Marian Anderson and unidentified woman
circa 1954
Paul S. Henderson (1899-1988)
4x5 inch acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection
Maryland Historical Society

Today in 1939 Marian Anderson performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Originally she was to perform at Howard University. After realizing that the crowd would be too large, they turned to the Daughters of the American Revolution and requested that she sing at Constitution Hall. They declined, stating their racially segregated “white-only” performer policy. Seventy-five thousand people were in attendance for Anderson’s performance at the memorial.

Take a look at the National Archives Today’s Document tumblr for more about Anderson, including an audio clip of her performance and the letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to the Daughters of the American Revolution resigning in protest of their decision not to let Anderson perform at Constitution Hall.

Unfortunately, as is the case with many of Henderson’s photos, there is no further information associated with the images of Anderson and an unidentified woman.