In 1954, the New York Metropolitan Opera hired Marian Anderson, making her the first black singer to work for the company.
Anderson later said she felt the pressure of that first performance: “I was there onstage, mixing the witch’s brew. I trembled, and when the audience applauded and applauded before I could sing a note, I felt myself tightening into a knot.” Despite her nerves, and that she was in the twilight of her career, the performance received a huge ovation.
Elsewhere in October 7ths past? Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” for the first time and inspired a new generation of the best minds to get weird with their creative endeavors. And in 1968, the MPAA adopted a rating system for movies.
Find out what else October 7 has added to history (it’s a lot!) in the video above and watch more Today in History videos on Timeline.