27 June 2017

Philatelic Tributes to Helen Keller

Helen Keller

27 June 1880 - 1 June 1968

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama.She was an author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.

Keller was born with the ability to see and hear, but lost both senses when she was 19 months old to scarlet fever or meningitis. Over time she developed her own system of about 60 home signs. She could also identify people walking to a room by the vibrations in their footsteps.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

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