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Letter to Governor Roosevelt from Helen Keller, (November 18, 1930)

Transcription of Letter

[End of Letterhead]

November 18, 1930

Dear Governor Roosevelt,

I did not send you my congratulations immediately after your tremendous victory in New York simply because I knew you would be deluged with letters and telegrams, and I felt the kindest thing I could do would be to keep quiet for a while. But since the excitement has subsided somewhat, I venture to take a minute of your time with this greeting.

I am more glad than I know how to express that you won, and so splendidly! I cannot recall a public servant who has gone into office with a more magnificent backing of intelligent people since I have taken an interest in better government. I know you feel no selfish pride in this triumph, but you will be gratified that you have wider opportunities for constructive work. I believe that great things will happen under your administration. When so few men in power put the public welfare above party loyalty or the threat of privilege, your influence for higher standards of service is incalculable. What the country needs more than material prosperity is well informed men of vision and courage.

I read your Thanksgiving Proclamation with genuine pleasure. It is impressive because it comes warm from the heart of a man in whose soul is the ardor of an ideal. Despite the greed, noise and insincerity of our present-day life, I believe your noble message will sink deep into the thoughts of the people; for you have invested the custom of our fathers with "the majesty of memory and the strength of example." This period of depression will not be all to the bad if it makes us stop and think. Only through the power of thought can we mould our national life nearer to the ideal of a united, free and enlightened people.

I did not mean to make this note so long, but something generous and compelling in your personality offers a temptation stronger than I can resist. Besides, coming of a long line of newspaper men and politicians, I have inherited a propensity to rise up in meeting on all occasions.

But I am wasting your time. The staff of the American Foundation for the Blind join me in congratulations. Our hearts, our hopes are all with you.

Will you please remember me warmly to Mrs. Roosevelt? I have a sweet memory of meeting her at the sale for the blind last year.

With best wishes to you both for every happiness and good fortune, I am,

Sincerely yours,

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