The 20th century was tumultuous. As a fierce champion of civil rights, Helen Keller would applaud the nation’s demand for equal justice for all its citizens, and would be thrilled by the active engagement of so many young people to improve the world we live in.
Helen Keller worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for more than 40 years. She was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months. Few could have imagined the leading role she would go on to play in many of the significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century. Until her passing in 1968, she worked unceasingly to improve the lives of people with disabilities. As caretakers of Helen Keller's archival collection and legacy, we are honored to share her history with you. Learn more about Helen Keller by exploring her letters, speeches, artifacts, and photographs in the Helen Keller Archive.
"Education should train the child to use his brains, to make for himself a place in the world and maintain his rights even when it seems that society would shove him into the scrap-heap."
-Helen Keller, "Going Back to School," The Home Magazine, September 1934
Happy 154th Birthday, Anne Sullivan Macy! In light of this special occasion, we took a field trip deep into the digital Helen Keller Archive to unearth a lesser-known story of Helen's brilliant teacher...
Helen Keller was born 139 years ago today! Keller worked for AFB for 44 years. Within that time, and after her death in 1968, AFB amassed an enormous trove of materials by and about her. This extraordinary collection is a goldmine of social, political, and cultural history. It also presents a unique opportunity to teach and learn about Keller’s life, the times in which she lived, the history of disabilities, and the importance of universal accessibility.
On Wednesday May 29 at 12pm U.S. Eastern, we encourage you to explore all of the great things the archive has to offer, and help to test how well the archive handles heavy traffic. There are thousands of letters, photographs, maps, artifacts, and more just waiting to be discovered in the Helen Keller Archive. Here’s how you can help:
Photo: Helen Keller seated in an armchair next to Winifred Corbally (right). Keller's young grandniece Margot Keller and another child stand in front. Texas, 1961.
Happy Fourth of July!
Helen Keller fought her entire life for social and economic equality for all. During the 1930s she used the platform of the popular Home Magazine to express her ideas and encourage self-reliance, education, and hope, particularly among women. On the occasion of the Fourth of July, 1934, she encouraged readers to reflect on democracy and the work of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt who sought to lift the country out of its economic woes.
Helen Keller with sheep in Scotland, 1932
Image left to right, M. R. Barnett, American Foundation for the Blind, Executive Director, Helen Keller and Eric T. Boulter, American Foundation for the Overseas Blind, Field Director. Celebrating Helen's 75th birthday with cake, 1955.