Helen Keller Day
Observed annually on June 27th, Helen Keller Day celebrates the achievements and life of Helen Keller. She was a woman who overcame deafness and blindness to become a disability advocate, author, lecturer, and political activist. During her life, Keller was invited to the White House by every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson. However, the most significant aspect of her life was that she changed society’s perceptions about the handicapped.
The History of Helen Keller Day
For many years before Helen Keller Day became an official holiday, various disability organizations advocated for a holiday to celebrate Keller’s life and achievements. Eventually, in March of 1960, NJ Mayor Leo Carlin proclaimed the first Helen Keller Day. The following June, the mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, would also proclaim this holiday. In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter made this holiday official on June 27th of that year. It has been celebrated ever since.
Interesting Facts About Helen Keller
In this section, we want to spend more time learning about Helen Keller. Most people know her for her activism and work as a disability advocate, but they know little else about her life or her work. While it’s beyond the scope of this holiday article to do a deep dive into her life, we do think that we can list some of the interesting things that we’ve learned about her. With that being said, below are some interesting facts about Helen Keller that everyone should know.
- Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
- Keller was a better typist than her companion Anne Sullivan and could use both a regular typewriter and a braille writer.
- The first Akita dog in the U.S. was sent to Keller in 1938 from Japan.
- Helen visited 39 countries around the world during her life.
- Helen was friends with Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.
- She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
- She graduated cum laude in 1904 with a Bachelor’s Degree from Radcliffe.
- She died of natural causes on June 1, 1968, in Easton, Connecticut, at the age of 87 years old.
Observing Helen Keller Day
Helen Keller Day is a holiday that can be observed by learning about the remarkable life of Keller. You might want to start by reading one of her many works, including “The Frost King,” “The Story of My Life,” “The World I Live In,” “Out of the Dark,” and “My Religion.” You can also watch some of the Helen Keller movies that have been made over the years, including The Miracle Worker (1962), and Helen Keller In Her Story (1954).
Of course, learning about Helen Keller isn’t the only way to observe this holiday. It’s also a good day to celebrate the people in your life who have conquered adversity to achieve their dreams. Another way to observe this holiday is by raising money for organizations that help people live with disabilities.