The Opening of Town Hall
Founded by a group of suffragists (The League for Political Education) seeking to build a space where the people could be educated, The Town Hall was built in 1921, designed by renowned architects McKim, Mead & White to reflect the democratic principles of the League. Box seats were eliminated and no seats had an obstructed view giving birth to the term "Not a bad seat in the house."
Margaret Sanger’s Dramatic Arrest
Margaret Sanger was famously arrested on Town Hall’s stage during a public meeting on birth control. She was an avid supporter of women’s sexual rights, and founded the American Birth Control League, now known as Planned Parenthood.
Richard Strauss Three Intimate Recitals
15 December with Elizabeth Schumann, soprano
24 December with Elena Gerhardt, soprano
31 December with George Meader, tenor
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) for a remarkably long time—60 years—was one of the dominant figures on the European musical scene. He was a prolific German composer. Among his numerous works were 15 operas, several ballets, symphonies, concertos, chamber music, choral works and song.
Paul Robeson & Lawrence Brown A Program of Negro Music
Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was the son of a former slave who made his name on stage in The Emperor Jones, All God's Children, Showboat, Black Boy, Porgy & Bess, The Hairy Ape and Othello. His first concert appearance was singing black spirituals in New York City. He toured the U.S. and Europe. His films include: The Emperor Jones, Sanders of the River, Show Boat and the Proud Valley.
Cello Recital by Pablo Casals
Pablo Casals (1876-1973) was a Spanish cellist, conductor and composer who achieved worldwide acclaim as a virtuoso. He made his Barcelona debut at 14, played for heads of state from Queen Victoria to President Kennedy, established the Prades Festival, and died in Puerto Rico in self-imposed exile from Spain.
Ruth St. Denis in Ted Denishawn & Denishawn Dancers
with Martha Graham, Pearl Wheeler, Betty May, Leonore Schefler, Julia Bennett, Mary Lynn, Louise Brooks, Charles Weidman and Robert Gorham.
American dancer and teacher, Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968) started her career as a vaudeville, musical comedy dancer and actor. St. Denis influenced almost every phase of American dance with the introduction of philosophical themes and Asian dance styles and costumes. She founded the Society of Spiritual Arts in 1931 and "promoted the dance as a sacred art."
Recital by Andres Segovia
Andres Segovia (1893-1987) was a self-taught musician recognized as the preeminent exponent of the Spanish guitar and responsible for restoring the instrument to prominence in classical music. In 1909 he began a musical career that spanned nearly eight decades, touring internationally.
Sacco & Vanzetti Memorial
Unable to get a hall in Boston the Sacco -Vanzetti Memorial Committee and the ACLU booked The Town Hall. The memorial was held on the second anniversary of the political radicals arrested in 1920 on the charge of murdering a shoe factory guard in South Braintree, MA during a robbery. Though convicted in 1921, their appeal generated doubt about their guilt and led to widespread support and worldwide protests. After their execution in 1927 after a special committee found the trial to be unfair in their execution.