Marian Anderson was one of the great contralto singers of all time. An African-American born in Philadelphia USA, she was acclaimed across the world. Perhaps the most well remembered episode from her career was the occasion in 1939 when she was refused permission to sing in Washington’s Constitution Hall because of her race. The venue was shifted to a public forum, the steps of Washington’s Lincoln statue, where on Easter Sunday 75,000 people turned out to hear her sing. Toward the end of her career Anderson was asked by a reporter to name her greatest moment in life. She had many possibilities to select from – that Easter Sunday singing to 75,000 people, the night Toscanini told her she possessed the finest voice of the century, the concert she gave at the White House for President Roosevelt and the King and Queen of England. But none of these were Marian Anderson’s greatest moment. Marian told the reporter that the greatest moment of her life was the day she went home and told her mother she wouldn’t have to take in washing anymore.

Sources: and Alan Loy McGinnis, The Friendship Factor.