April 9, 1939
MARIAN ANDERSON SINGS AT LINCOLN MEMORIAL
African-American contralto, Marian Anderson, gave a free concert on this Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Marian Anderson Sings
Miss Anderson was originally scheduled to perform at Constitution Hall but the concert was cancelled by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR in protest & orchestrated today’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial.*
*President Eisenhower made Marian Anderson an honorary delegate to the United Nations, she sang the National Anthem at JFK’s inauguration & in 1963 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Kennedy.
Marian Anderson died at the age of 96 on April 8, 1993.
April 9, 1940
GERMANS INVADE NORWAY & DENMARK
“Operation Wesserubung” was begun today as German warships entered ports in Norway from Narvik to Oslo & deployed thousands of troops in the attempt to occupy Norway.
Hitler’s armies also attacked Copenhagen & other cities in Denmark.
While Norway’s forces refuse to accept German rule & continue to resist alongside their British allies, Denmark’s King Christian X, believing he had no choice, surrendered almost immediately.
German Panzers in Abenra, Denmark
April 9, 1940
April 9, 1959
“MERCURY SEVEN” INTRODUCED
The 1st 7 astronauts selected by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration to participate in Project Mercury were announced today.
They are: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, Jr. & Donald Slayton.*
*The Mercury 7 are instant celebrities. On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard, Jr. becomes America’s 1st man in space & on February 20, 1962, John Glenn, Jr. becomes the 1st American to orbit the earth.
April 9, 1962
FRENCH COLONISTS PREPARE TO FLEE ALGERIA
Just one day after more than 90% of the voters of France approved a referendum designed to end their government’s rule in Algeria, a large number of French colonists are in the process of leaving the North African country in advance of its coming independence.
April 9, 1963
WINSTON CHURCHILL MADE HONORARY US CITIZEN
Winston Spencer Churchill is now an honorary citizen of the United States of America.
Although he could not be present for the ceremony today, Mr. Churchill’s son, Randolph, accepted the decree from President Kennedy in his father’s behalf.
JFK said that the 88 year old former British prime minister “has been throughout his life a firm and steadfast friend of the American people…”
The President also called Churchill “the most honored & honorable man to walk the stage of human history in the time in which we live.”
Reading from the text of a letter written by his father, Randolph Churchill thanked the people of the United States for the, in his father’s words, “unique distinction which will always be proudly remembered by my descendants.”
April 9, 1865
LEE SURRENDERS TO GRANT AT APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE, VIRGINIA
The Army of Northern Virginia was surrendered today by their respected commander, General Robert E. Lee, at Appomattox Court House.
General Lee arrived at the home of Wilmer McLean at 1:00 p.m. today. General Ulysses S. Grant, commander of all Union armies, arrived a half hour later.
The two generals met for about an hour & a half in the parlor of the McLean home.
Lee accepted Grant’s generous terms in behalf of his weary army of 28,000. The terms provide that all Lee’s men will be pardoned, may keep their horses, & may return to their homes.
Lee, wearing a full dress military uniform with sword, presented a stark contrast to the characteristically modest Grant who wore a private’s blouse.*
*After the ceremony was over a Union band began to play, General Grant stopped them saying:
“The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.”
Generals Lee & Grant Shake Hands