Many D.C. residents can still say they grew up in the segregated South. Sometimes it was a matter of law, as in Virginia, where many school systems remained segregated. Code of conduct that ruled daily life for Black and White was not spoken or written; it was simply understood. In 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was to lead a mass demonstration for civil rights at the Lincoln Memorial.
In 1939, the great operatic contralto Marian Anderson was denied permission to perform in this city’s Constitution Hall. A couple of Washingtonians named Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt arranged for her to sing instead.