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Allegany County
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Photographs and Prints
Lois Gilmore Smith and Marian Anderson

Lois (Peggy) Gilmore Smith and Marian Anderson Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


"Peggy" Gilmore Smith - Flowers for Marian Anderson

This photograph, from about 1947, depicts Lois (Peggy) Ann Gilmore Smith, presenting flowers to the singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993) at Cumberland's Queen City Railroad Station. Marian Anderson was in Cumberland to present a concert at Fort Hill High School. Lois (Peggy) was the president of the student council at Carver High School at the time, and it was the Carver Student Council that sponsored the performance. Peggy went on to Bowie State Teachers College and eventually became an assistant principal in the Baltimore County Public School System. She passed away in 1985.

According to Cumberland's First Presbyterian Church "History Notes", following the concert Marian Anderson was refused overnight accommodations at the city's hotels. She accepted the invitation of First Presbyterian's pastor, the Reverend and Mrs. William A. Eisenberger, who despite the concerns raised by a few church members, offered Ms. Anderson the hospitality of their home following the concert.

In 1939, Marian Anderson was refused permission to present a concert in Washington DC's Constitution Hall which was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The concert hall was restricted to, "white artists only". This caused a great deal of outrage and made headlines worldwide. On April 9, Easter Sunday 1939, Marian Anderson gave an historic free concert before 75,000 people and radio listeners on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.


The above information and photograph was provided by Lynda Edwards Tilley, a native of Frostburg who now teaches English in Howard County, Maryland. Her aunt was Peggy Gilmore Smith.


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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