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Letter to President Truman from Helen Keller, (December 23, 1947, draft)

Transcription of Letter

12-23-47

Pres. Harry Truman, Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

I am going to visit the blind of Japan next August, between the 20th and the 30th, accompanied by the friend and sharer of my labors, Miss Polly Thomson.

We spent five months of 1937 there, and the blind responded marvellously (sic) to our endeavors, but most of the work we did was almost wholly destroyed by the late War, and Mr. Takeo Iwahashi, who is at the head of the activities for the blind in Nippon, has sent letters pleading with us to come again and brace them for the long struggle towards rehabilitation.

Their chief tragedy is not loss of sight, but the fact that they have tested the joy of having their minds opened and their hands put to useful work, and now they are thrown back into despair and idleness. It will require powerful encouragement to start them on the way to self-reliance and service to society. This brings me to the purpose of this letter.

To you I turn with a request the gramting (sic) of which would be a great help to me. Will you be so gracious as to send the blind of Japan a message of good-will warm from the heart of America whom you represent? Such a message will go far to reassure them that the gentle Nippon of old is not forgotten, and that through you, Mr. Pres., the blind of America want to hold out their hands to them in renewed friendship and helpfulness. Appreciative of the multitude of calls made upon your benevolence, I shall be deeply grateful if you can pare (sic) a word of cheer to my sightless fellows in Japan.

With pleasant memories of meeting you years ago, and with cordial Christmas Greetings, I am,

Sincerely yours,

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