Marian Anderson Timeline
Timeline Description: Marian Anderson (born February 27, 1897) was one of the best contraltos of the 20th century, working in both the United States and Europe. She faced racism throughout her career, but made a quiet stand against it with her ongoing success.

Date Event
February 27, 1897 Marian Anderson Born

Marian Anderson was the oldest of three girls born to John and Anna Anderson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John worked as a loader, and Anna had been a teacher. Marian would attend Philadelphia's William Penn High School as a young girl.
1910 Senior Choir in Church

By 1910, Anderson had joined her church's senior choir and had begun singing at churches throughout the region.
1912 Began Voice Lessons with Mary Saunders Patterson

In 1912, Marian Anderson began voice lessons with well-known African American soprano Mary Saunders Patterson.
1913 Benefit by Philadelphia Choral Society

By 1913, Anderson's talent was becoming more widely recognized. The Philadelphia Choral Society held a benefit for Anderson and raised $500 to pay for her to study with contralto Agnes Reifsnyder.
1919 Sang at National Baptist Convention

At the age of 22, Agnes sang in front of the National Baptist Convention.
April 23, 1924 Concert at New York's Town Hall

Marian Anderson's first large public concert was poorly attended, disappointing both the singer and her manager.
1925 Lewisohn Stadium Competition

In 1925, Anderson won the Lewisohn Stadium Competition. Beating out 300 competitors, she went on to sing with the New York Philharmonic.
1926 Tour

After her win at the Lewisohn Stadium Competition, Anderson toured in the South.
December 30, 1928 Solo Recital Carnegie Hall

On December 30, 1928, Anderson performed in a solo recital at Carnegie Hall. While she was gaining some critical repute, her concerts were primarily drawing an African American audience.
1930 Scholarship from National Association of Negro Musicians

In 1930, Anderson received a scholarship from the National Association of Negro Musicians. Using these funds, she left for Europe.
September 16, 1930 Performed at London's Wigmore Hall

In September 1930, Anderson performed at London's Wigmore Hall. Her time in Europe proved to be more successful than in the states. She returned to the United States, but only briefly after the tour.
1933 Returned to Europe Supported by Julius Rosenwald Fund

In 1933, Anderson returned to Europe, spending a significant amount of time in Scandinavia. During her stay, her work was well-reviewed and she played for royalty.
1935 Touring Successfully(1935 to 1938)

Anderson toured successfully in a number of different areas between 1935 and 1938.
April 9, 1939 Performed on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial

After being refused the opportunity to schedule a concert at Washington D.C.'s Constitutional Hall, Anderson performed in front of 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial.
1943 Married Architect Orpheus H. Fisher

Anderson married longtime friend Orpheus H. Fisher in 1943. The two remained married until his death.
1950 Refused Segregated Seating at her Concerts

By 1950, Anderson refused to allow segregated seating at her concerts. She insisted on non-segregated seating at all venues.
1963 American Medal of Freedom

In 1963, Anderson received the Medal of Freedom, in recognition for her career achievements.
1986 National Medal of the Arts

Anderson received the National Medal of the Arts from U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
April 8, 1993 Marian Anderson Died

Marian Anderson died at 96 years old in April 1993.