Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, and the Daughters of the American Revolution
Author:
John F. Gardner
Course:
United States and Virginia History
Time Frame:
two 45 minute classes
Subjects:
Women's History

Grade Levels:
11

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

 

The class will read selected articles on Eleanor Roosevelt’s role in the Marian Anderson and DAR controversy, listen to Ms. Anderson’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial, and analyze selected primary source documents and photographs relating to this period in the Civil Rights Era.

 

 

Rationale:

 

Students need to know that this was one of the early major events of the Civil Rights Era.

 

 

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


 

STANDARD VUS.10d

The student will demonstrate knowledge of key domestic events of the 1920s and 1930s by

d)    describing how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal relief, recovery, and reform measures addressed the Great Depression and expanded the government’s role in the economy.

STANDARD VUS.14a

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s by

a) identifying the importance of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the roles of Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill, and how Virginia responded.

 

 

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

 

Article on Eleanor Roosevelt taken from the website of Eleanor Roosevelt College

https://roosevelt.ucsd.edu/about/people.html ucsd.edu/about/people.html     

 

Article on Eleanor Roosevelt taken from the FDR Presidential Library& Museum

https://fdrlibrary.org/anderson

 

Cosgrove, Ben.  “The Concert that Sparked the Civil Rights Movement.”  Time.  April, 8, 2013.

http://time.com/3764037/the-concert-that-sparked-the-civil-rights-movement/  

Primary source document analysis worksheets    Sample documents can be found on the National Archives website     https://www.archives.gov/

 

 

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

 

Sound Recording Marian Anderson’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial    April 9, 1939.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/marian-anderson-concert/

  • Sections of particular interest to educators are italicized.

    • Introduction: NBC announcer outlines program and introduces Interior Secretary Ickes (start-1:16 min.)

    • Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes: "All of us are free" speech decrying bigotry and introducing Marian Anderson (1:16-5:00 min.)

    • Marian Anderson: "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)" (5:27-7:17 min.)

    • Marian Anderson: "O Mio Fernando," from the opera La Favorite by Gaetano Donizetti (7:34-13:05 min.)

    • Marian Anderson: "Ave Maria," traditional, music by Franz Schubert (13:30-18:45 min.)

    • Intermission: NBC announcer offers a "word picture" of the Lincoln Memorial and an overview of Marian Anderson's career as a "typical American success story" (18:55-24:12 min.)

    • Marian Anderson: "Gospel Train," traditional, arrangement by Henry Burleigh (24:12-25:40 min.)

    • Marian Anderson: "Trampin'," by Edward Boatner (25:50-29:12 min.)

    • Conclusion: NBC announcer concludes the program, ending with still-familiar NBC jingle (29:12-29:35 min.)

Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwQCRUtzBsU

news reel clip April 9, 1939. UCLA Film and Television Archive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwQCRUtzBsU

“My Day” newspaper column dated February 27, 1939

https://www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/displaydoc.cfm?_y=1939&_f=md055200

https://trumanlibrary.org/educ/johngardnerprimarysourcelesson1.pdf

Technology Required:

 

Computer to show video and audio of the concert at the Lincoln Memorial and copies of primary documents

 

 

Full description of activity or assignment.

 

Students will read excerpts from articles detailing Eleanor Roosevelt’s early civil rights activities while she was living in the White House and the Time article on the Lincoln Memorial concert.  The teacher will present a short lecture about Mrs. Roosevelt’s civil rights activities as well as the significance of Marian Anderson. There will be a short discussion period.

Sample discussion questions:

  • How was Mrs. Roosevelt able to use her fame and position to advance the civil rights cause?

  • What could Mrs. Roosevelt do that President Roosevelt could not do concerning civil rights?

  • Why do you think Marian Anderson was chosen?

  • Why do you think she agreed to perform at the Lincoln Memorial?

  • What effect to you think this controversy had on the civil rights movement?

  • If this controversy were still happening at the present time, what current entertainer might be chosen to perform at the Lincoln Memorial?    Why him or her?

Students should view the video clips and listen to at least part of Marian Anderson’s concert.

Students will then review and analyze primary sources relating to the DAR controversy.

 

 

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

 

A sample test with short answer questions and a thematic essay is attached.

















Test: Part I

Test on Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, and the DAR

  1. Who was Marian Anderson?

  2. Why was Marian  Anderson denied permission to use DAR Constitution Hall for her concert?

  3. What actions did Eleanor Roosevelt take when she got involved?  (primary source documents)

  4. Based upon your prior knowledge of Eleanor Roosevelt, are you surprised at Eleanor’s actions? Explain your answer.

  5. Why do you think Mrs. Roosevelt and Secretary of the Interior chose the Lincoln Memorial as the site for the concert?

  6. When was the concert held?

  7. How many people attended the concert?

  8. What was the first song that Marian Anderson sang?   Why do you think she chose that song?

  9. Choose one of the primary source documents.  Describe in detail what the document is and what its significance is?

  10. Did the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) ever regret its decision to deny Marian Anderson the use of the hall for her concert?   Explain your answer.

Test Part II

As an assessment for understanding and practice in writing a thematic essay, students will write an essay:

The Virginia Board of Education’s Virginia and United States History Standards of Learning Standard VUS 14a states:   The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s by . . . .     Few, if any, Civil Rights timelines include the DAR controversy as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Write an essay using information learned from this assignment making an argument that Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson’s involvement in the DAR controversy should be included as part of the Civil Rights movement.



.

A sample rubric is attached.









Thematic Essay Rubric

Score of 5:

  • Shows a thorough understanding of the theme or problem

  • Addresses all aspects of the task

  • Shows an ability to analyze, evaluate, compare and/or contrast issues and events

  • Richly supports the theme or problem with relevant facts, examples, and details

in a well-developed essay, consistently demonstrating a logical and clear plan of organization

  • Introduces the theme or problem by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the task and concludes with a summation of the theme or problem

 

 Score of 4:

  • Shows a good understanding of the theme or problem

  • Addresses all aspects of the task

  • Shows an ability to analyze, evaluate, compare and/or contrast issues and events

  • Includes relevant facts, examples, and details, but may not support all aspects of the theme evenly

  • Is a well-developed essay, demonstrating a logical and clear plan of organization

  • Introduces the theme or problem by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the task and concludes with a summation of the theme or problem

 

 Score of 3:

  • Shows a satisfactory understanding of the theme or problem

  • Addresses most aspects of the task or addresses all aspects in a limited way

  • Shows an ability to analyze or evaluate issues and events, but not in any depth

  • Includes some facts, examples, and details

  • Is a satisfactorily developed essay, demonstrating a general plan of organization

  • Introduces the theme or problem by repeating the task and concludes by repeating the theme or problem

 

Score of 2:

  • Shows limited understanding of the theme or problem

  • Attempts to address the task

  • Develops a faulty analysis or evaluation of issues and events

  • Includes few facts, examples, and details, and may include information that contains Inaccuracies

  • Is a poorly organized essay, lacking focus

  • Fails to introduce or summarize the theme or problem

 

 Score of 1:

  • Shows a very limited understanding of the theme or problem

  • Lacks an analysis or evaluation of the issues and events

  • Includes little or no accurate or relevant facts, examples, or details

  • Attempts to complete the task, but demonstrates a major weakness in organization

  • Fails to introduce or summarize the theme or problem

 

Score of 0

  • Fails to address the task, is illegible, or is a blank paper