Helen Keller's powers of persuasion were notable, and she knew that her opposition to any campaign could seriously stymie any project. Keller was clear about her reasons for opposing the Talking Book program. Less clear is why she changed her mind. On March 31, 1935, she wrote a letter to AFB's President M. C. Migel withdrawing her opposition to Talking Books and pledging her future support.
Helen wrote and solicited the support of well-known personalities of her
day to ensure success of the project, including figures such as Alexander Woollcott, the well-known commentator and radio
personality; Louise Carnegie, the wife of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie; and Mrs. Felix Fuld, sister of businessman and philanthropist
Louis Bamberger. (These letters are located in the American Foundation for the Blind Helen Keller Archives).
It was Helen Keller's ability to charm influential people in Congress, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in
particular, that clinched the funding necessary to make the Talking Book program a reality. On September 19, 1935, President
Roosevelt signed an executive order allocating $211,500 to the Library of Congress for the manufacture of Talking Book
machines as a Works Progress Administration project. The Library hired AFB to run the project. On November 2, 1935, Keller
wrote the letter displayed on this page to the President, thanking him for that funding.