This from the DAR's own website:
Aware of Anderson’s growing reputation, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt invited her to sing for guests at a White House dinner party in 1936. Eleanor Roosevelt subsequently praised Anderson’s performance in a newspaper column.This quotation comes from an article on the DAR website about a Marian Anderson stamp issued in January of this year.
Three years later, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), refused to make its Washington venue, Constitution Hall, available for Anderson’s Easter concert due to a “white artists only” policy. As a result, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR, and on Easter Sunday, 1939, Anderson gave a historic and highly symbolic performance outdoors before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial. Her performance was broadcast via radio nationwide. Anderson subsequently performed at Constitution Hall on several occasions, including the summer of 1942 when the DAR invited her to appear at the hall for the first concert in a series of benefit performances to aid the war relief. Anderson also began her farewell American tour at DAR Constitution Hall in 1964.
Spottie tips his hat, well Spottie doesn't wear a hat, but you know what he means, to both the DAR for reversing its policy after Ms. Anderson's historic performance at the feet of the Great Emancipator in 1939, and also to Marian Andersen for being willing to perform in Constitution Hall after the snub.
Spottie's beef with organizations such as the DAR is not that they want to remember history so much as they want to selectively remember an idealized history and revise it when necessary. The Sibley House pictured in Kersten's column provides but one example. Citizens of the state should be grateful that the DAR saved the house from its derelict condition and the danger of its being burned or further vandalized by the vagrants who took shelter in it. However, modifications to the house and to a smaller outbuilding for the cold storage of pelts, reveal a desire to portray a much more genteel life and setting for Henry Sibley and his family than really existed. The Minnesota Historical Society has removed most of this gauzy verneer.
So what's the harm? The harm comes when people try to mould history into a quasi or even fully religious mythology. The harm comes when an organization claims ownership of America's story, and by implication, ownership of the country itself. The harm comes when some folks believe they are better or more entitled Americans by virtue of their birth. It leads to a failure of honest history. Spottie says the honest history of the US is even more glorious than the idealized one, because it is the struggle of humans, not demi-gods.
The history of the DAR is one of exclusion, not inclusion. Kersten's article says that is changing; let's hope so.