Meeting Helen Keller


Thank you letter to Helen Keller from Thomas Hospital, 1921

Helen Keller fought for the rights of war veterans for over 40 years. The Helen Keller Archival Collection contains photographs and documents testifying to the extraordinary impact she had on the personal and working lives of the men and women who served and fought in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. One such document is posted and transcribed here. Written 94 years ago today, the letter is signed by 30 ex-servicemen who were tuberculosis patients. It is a thank you letter to Helen Keller for visiting them and for inspiring them to rise above their misfortunes.

Transcription of letter:

Thomas Hospital Minneapolis, Minn., September 3, 1921.

Miss Helen Keller, Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, Minn.

Dear Miss Keller:

You will never know, perhaps, how much good your little visit to the tuberculous ex-service men in Thomas Hospital has done. It cheered us so much and made us feel that the only thing for us to do is to make up our minds to get well. Your victory over three physical handicaps inspires us to greater effort and assures us that we can win in the battle against one handicap.

Very cordially yours,

Ex-service men.

[list of handwritten names, some cannot be deciphered]

Carl E. Strombeck [?] M S Herschler Frank Murray Alex Danbury Warren Henderson Ned Rayuk K F Parke Chase Peterson Lester Walton Roy M. Cole Walter Werlouski Lloyd L. Pelley T. H. Bye John A. Carlson Arthur Fankhanel Arthur Lind Arthur Madsen Felix Miller J. Russell Harold E Lees Einar Wold Edwin T. Larson Wm Curtise Osmond Virak Lawrence Jaques Wm F. Joachim Al A Rose Ets Forbes Glen A. Peck