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Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was a deafblind American author, activist and lecturer.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her disabilities were caused by a fever in February, 1882 when she was 19 months old. Her loss of ability to communicate at such an early developmental age was very traumatic for her and her family and as a result she became quite unmanageable.

Biography

Childhood

Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green, on June 27, 1880 to parents Captain Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. She was not born blind and deaf, but was actually a typical, healthy infant. It was not until nineteen months later that she came down with an illness that the doctors described as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain" - Scarlet Fever. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her blind, deaf, and unable to speak. By age seven she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family.

In 1886, her mother Kate Keller was inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' American Notes of the successful education of another deaf/blind child, Laura Bridgman, and travelled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. He put her in touch with local expert Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised the couple to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston, Massachusetts. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to try to open up Helen's mind. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together.

Sullivan demanded and got permission from Helen's father to isolate the girl from the rest of the family in a little house in their garden. Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. Helen's big breakthrough in communication came one day when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on her palm, while running cool water over her palm from a pump, symbolized the idea of "water" and nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world (including her prized doll).

Anne was able to teach Helen to think intelligibly and to speak, using the Tadoma method: touching the lips of others as they spoke, feeling the vibrations, and spelling of alphabetical characters in the palm of Helen's hand. She also learned to read English, French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille.

Education

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. In 1904 at the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college.

Helen Keller, graduation from Radcliffe College, c. 1904

Political activities

With tremendous willpower Helen went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorially handicapped in the world. In 1915 she founded Helen Keller International, a non-profit organization for preventing blindness. Helen and Anne Sullivan traveled all over the world to over 39 countries, and made several trips to Japan, becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Helen Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to John F. Kennedy and was friends with many famous figures including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.

Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. If I could not see it, I could smell it."

Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she came out as a socialist now called attention to her disabilities. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller responded to that editor, referring to having met him before he knew of her political views:

"At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him...Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent."

Helen Keller also joined the industrial union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), in 1912 after she felt that parliamentary socialism was "sinking in the political bog." Helen Keller wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. In "Why I Became an IWW" Helen wrote that her motivation for activism came in part due to her concern about blindness and other disabilities:

"I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness."

Helen Keller wrote glowingly of the emergence of communism during the Russian Revolution (See ISBN 0684818868). Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI.

In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union. In the 1920s, she sent a hundred dollars to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis.

In 1925 she addressed a convention of Lions Clubs International giving that organisation a major focus for its service work which still continues today.

Writings

In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles.

Honors

On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor.

Alabama honors her, a native daughter, on its state quarter [1].

Later life

Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968 at the age of 87, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan. She was cremated and her remains were placed in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral.

Helen Keller in the arts and popular culture

A silent film, Deliverance, first told Keller's story.

The Miracle Worker, a play about how Helen Keller learned to communicate, was made into a movie three times. The 1962 version of the movie won Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Anne Bancroft who played Sullivan and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Patty Duke who played Keller.

Another recent movie about Helen Keller's life is The Miracle Continues. This semi-sequel to The Miracle Worker recounts her college years and her early adult life. None of the early movies hint at the social activism that would become the hallmark of Helen's later life, although the Disney version produced in 2000 states in the credits that Helen became an activist for social equality.

The Hindi movie Black released in 2005 was largely based on Keller's story, from her childhood to her graduation.

In the comedy cartoon series South Park Helen Keller's life was shown in a musical.

Her life and achievements are celebrated annually in Tuscumbia, her hometown, in the Helen Keller festival.

In the animated series Family Guy, the final scene from The Miracle Worker was shown in one episode with the characters speaking in binary.


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In the animated series Family Guy, the final scene from The Miracle Worker was shown in one episode with the characters speaking in binary. His remains were cremated at Grace Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the ashes interred in Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa. Her life and achievements are celebrated annually in Tuscumbia, her hometown, in the Helen Keller festival. He died in Danbury, Connecticut. In the comedy cartoon series South Park Helen Keller's life was shown in a musical. His many accomplishments included a breed of chicken that at one point accounted for the overwhelming majority of all egg-laying chickens sold across the globe. The Hindi movie Black released in 2005 was largely based on Keller's story, from her childhood to her graduation. During his later years he made a number of advances in the field of agricultural science.

None of the early movies hint at the social activism that would become the hallmark of Helen's later life, although the Disney version produced in 2000 states in the credits that Helen became an activist for social equality. Wallace resumed his farming interests, and resided in South Salem, New York. This semi-sequel to The Miracle Worker recounts her college years and her early adult life. In 1952 Wallace published Why I Was Wrong, in which he explained that his seemingly-trusting stance toward the Soviet Union and Stalin stemmed from inadequate information about Stalin's excesses and that he, too, now considered himself an anti-Communist. Another recent movie about Helen Keller's life is The Miracle Continues. Some of his followers believed that his warnings of a possible American pre-emptive attack on the Soviet Union may have prevented such a war. The 1962 version of the movie won Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Anne Bancroft who played Sullivan and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Patty Duke who played Keller. The party's opposition to Truman's hard-line stance against the Soviets brought it into disrepute especially as events in Europe aroused fears of Soviet expansionism.

The Miracle Worker, a play about how Helen Keller learned to communicate, was made into a movie three times. His acceptance of the support of American Communists also drew the ire of the Anti-Communist sentiment of the time. A silent film, Deliverance, first told Keller's story. His campaign was unusual for his time in that it included African American candidates campaigning alongside white candidates in the American South, and during the campaign he refused to appear before segregated audiences or eat/stay in segregated establishments. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral. Many of his proposals were eventually enacted, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare (1965) and Medicaid (1965). She was cremated and her remains were placed in the Chapel of St. His platform was far ahead of its time, advocating such positions as an end to segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968 at the age of 87, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan. presidential election. Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. He left his editorship position in 1948 to make an unsuccessful run as a Progressive Party candidate in the 1948 U.S. Alabama honors her, a native daughter, on its state quarter [1]. On the declaration of the Truman Doctrine in 1947, he predicted it would mark the beginning of "a century of fear". Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. Following his term as Secretary of Commerce, Wallace became the editor of The New Republic magazine, using his position to criticize vociferously Truman's hawkish foreign policy.

On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Truman, who had become president when Roosevelt's death midterm, and who regarded Wallace as too critical of Truman's foreign policy. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles. Wallace served in this post from March 1945 to September 1946, when he was fired by Harry S. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. Roosevelt placated Wallace by appointing him Secretary of Commerce. In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Franklin D.

In 1925 she addressed a convention of Lions Clubs International giving that organisation a major focus for its service work which still continues today. Truman as the new Vice Presidential candiate. In the 1920s, she sent a hundred dollars to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis. Thus due to concerns over his far left beliefs, perceived naivete regarding Joseph Stalin, and unorthodox New Age tendencies, the Democratic Party bumped Wallace from its ticket in 1944 They replaced Wallace with Missouri Senator Harry S. In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union. 1944, as FDR's health began to fail, their was a growing likelyhood that Wallace, as his running-mate in the upcomming presidential election, would succeed him. Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI. Department of Commerce.

Helen Keller wrote glowingly of the emergence of communism during the Russian Revolution (See ISBN 0684818868). This met opposition from the U.S. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.". These clauses required producers to pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions for their employees, and it committed the United States to paying for up to half of the required improvements. And the social evil contributed its share. He convinced the BEW to add "labor clauses" to contracts with Latin American producers. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. Wallace was far ahead of his time in trade relationships with Latin America.

"I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. His trip proved a success and helped convince 12 Latin American countries to declare war on Germany. In "Why I Became an IWW" Helen wrote that her motivation for activism came in part due to her concern about blindness and other disabilities:. In 1943 Wallace made a goodwill tour of Latin America, shoring up support among important allies. Helen Keller also joined the industrial union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), in 1912 after she felt that parliamentary socialism was "sinking in the political bog." Helen Keller wrote for the IWW between 1916 and 1918. The speech, and the book of the same name which appeared the following year, proved quite popular, but it earned him enemies among the Democratic leadership, among important allied leaders like Winston Churchill, and among business leaders and conservatives. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him...Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent.". This speech, grounded in Christian references, laid out a positive vision for the war beyond the simple defeat of the Nazis.

But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. On May 8, 1942, Wallace delivered his most famous speech, which became known by the phrase "Century of the Common Man", to the Free World Association in New York City. "At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. The two differed on how to handle wartime supplies. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle wrote that her "mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development." Keller responded to that editor, referring to having met him before he knew of her political views:. Jones, Secretary of Commerce. Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she came out as a socialist now called attention to her disabilities. As he began to flex his new-found political muscle in his position with SPAB, Wallace came up against the conservative wing of the Democratic party in the form of Jesse H.

If I could not see it, I could smell it.". entry into World War II. In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. Both positions became important with the U.S. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. Roosevelt named Wallace chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW) and Supply Priorities and Allocations Board (SPAB) in 1941. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. He immediately set out to counter his predecessor John Nance Garner's characterization of the vice presidency as "not worth a bucket of warm piss".

She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. His inauguration took place on January 20, 1941, for the term ending January 20, 1945. Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. Roosevelt. Kennedy and was friends with many famous figures including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. Wallace was elected in November 1940 as Vice President on the Democratic Party ticket with President Franklin D. President from Grover Cleveland to John F. Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture until September 1940, when he resigned, having been nominated for Vice President as Roosevelt's running mate in the 1940 presidential election.

Helen Keller met every U.S. (Wallace's father, Henry Cantwell Wallace, had served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1921 to 1925.) Wallace had been a liberal Republican, but he supported Roosevelt's New Deal and soon switched to the Democratic Party. Helen and Anne Sullivan traveled all over the world to over 39 countries, and made several trips to Japan, becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Wallace United States Secretary of Agriculture in his Cabinet. In 1915 she founded Helen Keller International, a non-profit organization for preventing blindness. The company he founded during this time, now known as Pioneer Hi-Bred, is among the most profitable agriculture corporations in the United States today. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorially handicapped in the world. In 1915 he devised the first corn-hog ratio charts indicating the probable course of markets.

With tremendous willpower Helen went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. He experimented with breeding high-yielding strains of corn (maize), and authored many publications on agriculture. In 1904 at the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college. He worked on the editorial staff of Wallace's Farmer in Des Moines, Iowa from 1910 to 1924 and edited the publication from 1924 to 1929. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. Wallace was born on a farm near Orient, Adair County, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State College at Ames in 1910. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. .

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States, the 11th Secretary of Agriculture, and the 10th Secretary of Commerce. She also learned to read English, French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille. Wallace: 1888-1965. Anne was able to teach Helen to think intelligibly and to speak, using the Tadoma method: touching the lips of others as they spoke, feeling the vibrations, and spelling of alphabetical characters in the palm of Helen's hand. The Life of Henry A. Helen's big breakthrough in communication came one day when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on her palm, while running cool water over her palm from a pump, symbolized the idea of "water" and nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world (including her prized doll). "The Prince of Wallese: Chickens, Communists and Henry Wallace," Times Literary Supplement, 24 November, 2000.

Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. Sullivan demanded and got permission from Helen's father to isolate the girl from the rest of the family in a little house in their garden. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together. The school delegated teacher and former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old, to try to open up Helen's mind.

Bell advised the couple to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston, Massachusetts. He put her in touch with local expert Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. In 1886, her mother Kate Keller was inspired by an account in Charles Dickens' American Notes of the successful education of another deaf/blind child, Laura Bridgman, and travelled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. By age seven she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family.

The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her blind, deaf, and unable to speak. It was not until nineteen months later that she came down with an illness that the doctors described as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain" - Scarlet Fever. She was not born blind and deaf, but was actually a typical, healthy infant. Keller and Kate Adams Keller.

Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green, on June 27, 1880 to parents Captain Arthur H. . Her loss of ability to communicate at such an early developmental age was very traumatic for her and her family and as a result she became quite unmanageable. Her disabilities were caused by a fever in February, 1882 when she was 19 months old.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was a deafblind American author, activist and lecturer.

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