Marian Anderson in Debut at the Met
1955 – Marian Anderson made debut at Metropolitan Opera. Anderson, who made history singing in front of the Lincoln Memorial after being denied the opportunity to sing before an integrated audience at Constitution Hall, became the first Black to sing a the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.She sang at the invitation of director Sir Rudolf Bing and sang the role of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. Before she could sing a word the crowd broke into an applause. Afterwards, she was named a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company. For a complete biography of Marion Anderson, visit her profile at Great Black Heroes website.
1950 – The James Weldon Johnson Collection opens at Yale. The collection focuses on the works of Black writers and artists, particularly those prominent during the Black Renaissance. The collection was started when Grace Nail Johnson, James widow. Numerous Black writers and artists thereafter donated their papers including: Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White and Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.
1986 – Howard Beach Incident.
White teens in Howard Beach chased Michael Griffith, an African-American youth, onto a freeway where he was hit by a motorist. Griffith died from his injuries setting off a wave of protests and racial tensions in New York.