Harold Ickes congratulates Marian Anderson after her performance at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., April 4, 1939.
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Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes congratulates Miss Marian Anderson from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Credit: Courtesy University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library

In 1939, Harold Ickes used his authority as Secretary of the Interior to permit Marian Anderson to sing from steps of the Lincoln Memorial after the Daughters of American Revolution had refused her permission to sing in Constitution Hall because of her race. A staunch supporter of African American civil rights, Ickes had served as president of the Chicago NAACP in the 1920s.

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