Interior Department hosts reenactment of singer’s historic performance

The Interior Department hosted on Tuesday a reenactment of legendary opera singer Marian Anderson's historic 1939 VIP concert at its Sidney Yates Auditorium in Washington. Ivy Anderson Hylton, a relative of the renowned vocalist, performed the songs Anderson sang on the same stage nearly 70 years ago, including renditions of "America the Beautiful," "Ave Maria," and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen."

Anderson performed at Interior on the evening of April 9, 1939, after singing earlier in the day before an estimated 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial. That performance was scheduled after the Daughters of the American Revolution denied her the opportunity to sing at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington because she was African-American.

Interior employees and members of the public attended the free reenactment of Anderson's performance. The department's Special Emphasis Observance Committee and the National Park Service sponsored the event.

During the reenactment, Hylton was accompanied by a pianist playing the same Steinway Model B grand concert piano on which Anderson was accompanied in 1939. In 2004, then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton gave a special historic designation to the piano in memory of Anderson and Harold L. Ickes, who was Interior secretary under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ickes helped arrange Anderson's performance at the Lincoln Memorial.

At Tuesday's event, David Verhey, Interior's principal deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, said, "It is a privilege to know that this agency played a role in making this day happen."

Editor's Note: Ivy Anderson Hylton is the stepmother of Chawndese Hylton.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.