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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. Fillmore appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:. Her life and achievements are celebrated annually in Tuscumbia, her hometown, in the Helen Keller festival.
. In the comedy cartoon series South Park Helen Keller's life was shown in a musical. On January 7 each year a ceremony is held at his gravesite in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. The Hindi movie Black released in 2005 was largely based on Keller's story, from her childhood to her graduation. More factual is, having found the White House devoid of books, Millard Fillmore initiated the White House library.

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. Mencken in a joke column published on December 28, 1917 in the New York Evening Mail. See Bathtub Hoax for more. This semi-sequel to The Miracle Worker recounts her college years and her early adult life. L. Another recent movie about Helen Keller's life is The Miracle Continues. The myth that Millard Fillmore installed the White House's first bathtub was started by H. 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. president who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican.

The Miracle Worker, a play about how Helen Keller learned to communicate, was made into a movie three times. To this day Millard Fillmore remains the last U.S. A silent film, Deliverance, first told Keller's story. on March 8, 1874 of the after effects of a stroke, with his last words alleged to be, upon being fed some soup, "the nourishment is palatable.". Joseph of Arimathea in Washington National Cathedral. He died at 11:10 p.m. She was cremated and her remains were placed in the Chapel of St. Throughout the Civil War he opposed President Lincoln and during Reconstruction supported President Johnson.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968 at the age of 87, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan. As the Whig Party disintegrated in the 1850s, Fillmore refused to join the Republican Party; but, instead, in 1856 accepted the nomination for President of the Know Nothing, or American, Party. Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. Upon completing his presidency, Fillmore returned to Buffalo, where he served as chancellor of the University of Buffalo. Alabama honors her, a native daughter, on its state quarter [1]. Within a few years it was apparent that although the Compromise had been intended to settle the slavery controversy, it served rather as an uneasy sectional truce. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. They helped deprive him of the Presidential nomination in 1852.

On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Some of the more militant northern Whigs remained irreconcilable, refusing to forgive Fillmore for having signed the Fugitive Slave Act. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles. Another important legacy of Fillmore's administration was the opening of Japan to American trade under Commodore Matthew Perry. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. Webster wrote, "I can now sleep of nights.". In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Each measure obtained a majority, and by September 20, President Fillmore had signed them into law.

In 1925 she addressed a convention of Lions Clubs International giving that organisation a major focus for its service work which still continues today. Breaking up Clay's single legislative package, Douglas presented five separate bills to the Senate:. In the 1920s, she sent a hundred dollars to the NAACP with a letter of support that appeared in its magazine The Crisis. Douglas's effective strategy in Congress combined with Fillmore's pressure from the White House to give impetus to the Compromise movement. In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union. This helped influence a critical number of northern Whigs in Congress away from their insistence upon the Wilmot Proviso — the stipulation that all land gained by the Mexican War must be closed to slavery. Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI. On August 6, 1850, he sent a message to Congress recommending that Texas be paid to abandon her claims to part of New Mexico.

Helen Keller wrote glowingly of the emergence of communism during the Russian Revolution (See ISBN 0684818868). At this critical juncture, President Fillmore announced in favor of the Compromise of 1850. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.". Douglas of Illinois. And the social evil contributed its share. Clay, exhausted, left Washington to recuperate, throwing leadership upon Senator Stephen A. 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. A bill to admit California still aroused all the violent arguments for and against the extension of slavery, without any progress toward settling the major issues.

"I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. Taylor's cabinet resigned and President Fillmore at once appointed Daniel Webster to be Secretary of State, thus proclaiming his alliance with the moderate Whigs who favored the Compromise. 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:. Thus the sudden ascension of Fillmore to the Presidency in July 1850 brought an abrupt political shift in the administration. 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. He made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before President Taylor's death, he suggested to him that if there should be a tie vote on Henry Clay's bill, he would vote in favor of it. 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.". Fillmore presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850.

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. and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution.". "At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. In his own words: "God knows that I detest slavery, but it is an existing evil .. 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:. Taylor wanted the new states to be free states, while Fillmore supported slavery in those states in order to appease the South. Newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before she came out as a socialist now called attention to her disabilities. Nevertheless, the two men came to a head on the slavery issue in the new western territories taken from Mexico in the Mexican-American War.

If I could not see it, I could smell it.". It was thought that the obscure, self-made candidate from New York would complement Taylor, a slave-holding military man from the south. In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. During that time he served in the House of Representatives and was Comptroller of New York. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. He worked his way up through the Whig party, eventually being selected as Zachary Taylor's running mate. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. In 1828 he served in the New York legislature.

She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. He was admitted to the bar in 1823 and began his practice of law in Aurora. Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. Several years later, Fillmore moved to Buffalo, New York to continue his studies. Kennedy and was friends with many famous figures including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. He struggled to obtain an education under frontier conditions. President from Grover Cleveland to John F. He was first apprenticed to a fuller to learn that trade.

Helen Keller met every U.S. Fillmore was born in extreme poverty to Nathaniel Fillmore and Phoebe Millard in Summerhill, New York as the second of eight children and eldest son. 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 1915 she founded Helen Keller International, a non-profit organization for preventing blindness. He was the last president from the Whig Party. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorially handicapped in the world. Fillmore served out Taylor's term and was never elected to the presidency in his own right.

With tremendous willpower Helen went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. He succeeded Zachary Taylor, who died of acute indigestion. 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. Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth (1850–1853) President of the United States and the second President to succeed to the office from the Vice Presidency on the death of the predecessor. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. List of places named for Millard Fillmore. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. presidential election, 1856.

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. U.S. She also learned to read English, French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille. presidential election, 1848. 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. U.S. 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). California – September 9, 1850.

Her first task was to instill discipline in the spoiled girl. Benjamin Robbins Curtis - 1851. 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. Abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together. Place Federal officers at the disposal of slaveholders seeking fugitives. 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. Grant territorial status to New Mexico.

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. Settle the Texas boundary and compensate her. He put her in touch with local expert Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Admit California as a free state. 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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