Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Miriam Makeba (1932-2008)
Contralto Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A variety of sources suggested February 17, 1902, as her birthdate; however, Anderson’s birth certificate, released by her family after her death, listed the date as February 27, 1897. Her father was an ice and coal salesman, and her mother was a former teacher.
Although Anderson had early showed an interest in the violin, she eventually focused on singing. The Black community, recognizing her talent, gave her financial and moral support. She also gained the notice of tenor Roland Hayes, who provided guidance in her developing career.
When Jack Roosevelt Robinson stepped onto Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, he not only changed the face of professional baseball in America. In ways subtle and profound — ways that have been debated, dissected and celebrated in books, films, popular songs, academic circles and casual conversations in the long decades since — he changed the nation itself.
Here, LIFE.com offers a selection of both classic and, in some cases, rare pictures that paint a portrait of a man whose dignity, competitive fire and grace under pressure set him indelibly and inevitably apart from his peers and his rivals.
Ruby Bridges Goes to School:
Ruby Bridges Biography:
“The Problem We All Live With” by Norman Rockwell
1964 / Oil on canvas / 36”x58” / Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
The painting was originally published as a centerfold in the January 14, 1964 issue of Look magazine
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve Been to the Mountaintop
Delivered April 3, 1968, Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ Headquarters), Memphis, Tennessee
These Rare Photos of the Selma March Place You in the Thick of History. James Barker, a photographer from Alaska, shares his memories of documenting the famed event:
Charles Moore, Flip Schulke and Frank Dandridge
How LIFE Magazine Covered the Selma Marches in 1965. Fifty years after nonviolent protesters clashed with Alabama state troopers in Selma:
Photographer Helped Expose Brutality Of Selma’s ‘Bloody Sunday’:
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail:
The Atlantic: “What LBJ Really Said About Selma” [click photo]:
The 12th Academy Awards ceremony was held on February 29, 1940, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, with Bob Hope hosting. Gone With The Wind was nominated for 13 awards and won for Outstanding Production, Directing (Victor Fleming), Actress (Vivien Leigh), Art Direction (Lyle Wheeler), Cinematography (Color) (Ernest Haller and Ray Rennahan), and Film Editing (Hal Kern and James Newcom). Sidney Howard posthumously received the Writing (Screenplay) award, and production designer William Cameron Menzies received a special award for “outstanding use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone With The Wind.” In the Actress in Supporting Role category, Hattie McDaniel made history becoming the first African American to receive an Academy Award.
Here are five things you should know about the first African American to win an Academy Award~
First Black Winner Accepted Her Honor in a Segregated ‘No Blacks’ Hotel in L.A.~
The Curious Case Of A Missing Academy Award~ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100937570
Thanks to the outstanding Facebook page A Mighty Girl, https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl I learned today about the Civil Rights Movement Veterans website: http://www.crmvet.org/index.htm Their stated purpose: “This website is created by Veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement (1951-1968). It is where we tell it like it was, the way we lived it, the way we saw it, the way we still see it. With a few minor exceptions, everything on this site was written, created, or spoken by Movement activists who were direct participants in the events they chronicle.”
The site contains a wealth of letters, diary entries, interviews, personal narratives, essays, and more. They also have a large collection of photographs taken during that era, allowing us to see history as it was being made.
“The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project is a collection of interviews concerning the Civil Rights movement and the socioeconomic, cultural, and political struggles of African Americans. Conducted in 1964 by Robert Penn Warren, a Kentucky native and the first poet laureate of the United States, these interviews constituted part of Warren’s research for his book Who Speaks for the Negro? Warren interviewed important civil rights leaders and activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Milton Galamison, Adam Clayton Powell, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, Vernon Jordan, Malcolm X, Carroll Baker, Stokley Carmichael, William Hastie, Bayard Rustin, Ruth Turner, Claire Collins Harvey, Aaron Henry, Andrew Young, Gilbert Moses, and Ralph Ellison. Topics include racism throughout the United States, school integration, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), education, employment, nonviolent protest, peace activism, black nationalism and pride, civil rights legislation, religion and spirituality, the role of whites in the civil rights movement, Abraham Lincoln, African culture, the Free Southern Theatre, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).”
Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project:
“Iconic images of Dr. King from the Smithsonian collection”
Photo: National Portrait Gallery