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January 28th, 1938 – On This Day In Sioux Falls History, World Renown Contralto Marian Anderson visits Sioux Falls. If you are not familiar with Marian’s name… suffice it to say she was the opera super star of her time. Just listen to her resume – She preformed an open air Easter concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a crowd of 75,000 and a radio audience of millions! She was the first black woman to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Marian was both a delegate of the UN Human Rights Committee and an ambassador for the US State Department. She also headlined the 1963 March on Washington!

Her achievements are second only to her awards! Marian Anderson was the first recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in her lifetime was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievment Award!
So when I say Marian Anderson visited Sioux Falls on a quiet Friday evening in 1938 – understand that a SUPERSTAR graced the halls of Washington High School and put on a World Class preformance for the awestruck citizens of Sioux Falls!