Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Singer and the President - April Events To Be Remembered -

As we are in the month of April, two events that come to mind about April should, perhaps, be recalled, due to their defining significances:
In April of 1939, the great contralto Marian Anderson sang in front of the Lincoln Memorial before some 75,000 people.
She sang there because the wife of the president, Eleanor Roosevelt, had arranged for her to do so after she was not allowed to give a recital in the hall of The Daughters of the American Revolution; refused because of the nature of segregation as it then was in those times.
As both black and white, for the first time in our cultural history, were standing elbow -to - elbow listening to the legendary singer, it may be, from my view, one of the first significant awarenesses of social change given to the American, along with the unparalleled cohesiveness formed among the citizenry by the defeat of Max Schmeling by Joe Louis in 1938.
Louis was the black boxer from Detroit who, because of the events taking place in Nazi Germany, became the overwhelming favorite over Schmeling, who had become a hero of Hitler after his defeating Louis two years before.
So, before Martin Luther King, we can perhaps consider the first formations of the Civil Rights Movement which King created, actually beginning back in the thirties.
The other event took place on this day in 1945; namely, the passing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, arguably among the most powerful of the presidents. "We, who hated your bloody guts, salute you" was one of the statements made by the opposition to Roosevelt - this expression reminds us of the stature of this man who, tragically, passed away just weeks before the end of World War II.



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