The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the plans for designs of the new $5, $10 and $20 notes on Wednesday. The $5 bill will feature the late Danbury resident, Marian Anderson, who was widely regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished opera singers and a significant pioneer for civil rights.
Mayor Mark Boughton says Danbury could not be more honored to see Marian Anderson nationally recognized for her accomplishments. He said her story has influenced so many across the nation, and the City is so proud that she was and always will be a Danburian.
During her time in Danbury, she held a concert at Danbury High School and performed during the Christmas lighting ceremony at Danbury City Hall. She supported the Charles Ives Center for the Arts, served on the board of directors at the Danbury Music Center, and contributed to the Danbury chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.
In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Marian to perform at their Constitution Hall in order to keep the concert hall segregated. In protest, many members of the DAR resigned including the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The Roosevelts showed great support to Marian by assisting in the arrangement of her historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, with 75,000 present and millions tuning into the radio broadcast, Marian Anderson sang her way into history.
Just one year after the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, Marian moved to a 50-acre farm in the Mill Plain area, a residence she would reside in for over fifty years.
The new $5 bill will now feature not just the Lincoln Memorial, but images of the historic events that took place on its steps, including Marian’s performance. The final design is set to be released in 2020.