Famous Person: Helen Keller

  • JUN 27, 1880 Birth Of Helen Keller

    Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia to Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller.
  • FEB 1, 1882 Helen contracts meningitis

    Meningitis left her deaf and blind and she had difficulty making herself understood. She often became frustrated and threw temper tantrums
  • MAR 3, 1887 Anne Suvillian becomes her teacher

    Helen Keller's parents recruited her after Dr. Alexander Graham Bell adviced them to find a teacher from the Perkins Institute for the Blind.
  • APR 5, 1887 Helen understands the meaning of words

    Anne taught Helen to understand language through the combination of water from a pump on one hand and the spelling of "water" with the manual alphabet into her other hand.
  • MAR 26, 1890 Helen learns to speak

    She attended Horace Mann School, with the principal, Miss Sarah Fuller as her first speech teacher
  • MAR 1, 1903 Helen publishes her first book

    With the help of editor John Albert Macy, Helen wrote her autobiography, "The Story of My Life".
  • JUN 28, 1904 Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe College

    Helen became the first deaf-blind individual to receive a bachelor of arts degree, graduating cum laude from Radcliffe.
  • OCT 1, 1914 Helen hires Polly Thompson

    She was hired as Anne Sullivan's health was failing. Initially hired to keep house , she progressed to working as a secretary as well, and eventually became a constant companion to Helen.
  • NOV 11, 1915 The founding of Helen Keller International

    Helen Keller and George Kessler founded Helen Keller International (HKI), which combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition
  • JAN 1, 1919 Helen appears in a movie

    The movie "Deliverance" is a silent film which tells the story of the life of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Helen acts as herself.
  • OCT 1, 1924 Helen joins the American Foundation for the Blind

    Helen was invited to be a spokesperson for the organization. She traveled extensively with Anne and Polly, giving speeches and raising funds for the blind and for related causes.
  • APR 1, 1930 Helen goes abroad for the first time

    Helen, Anne, and Polly travel abroad for the first time, visiting Scotland, Ireland and England for over six months.
  • OCT 20, 1936 Anne Sullivan dies

    At the age of 70, Anne died of myacarditis and arteriosclerosis at home.
  • JAN 1, 1943 Helen visits disabled soliers

    Helen began her visits to the blinded, deaf, and disabled soldiers of World War II in military hospitals around the country.
  • JUN 1, 1964 Helen retires from public life

    She did so after a series of strokes which started three years earlier and spent the remainder of her life being cared for at her home.
  • SEP 14, 1964 Helen recieves the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    She was awarded America's highest civilian award by President Lyndon Johnson.
  • JUN 1, 1968 Helen Keller's death

    She passes away 26 days before her 88th birthday in her sleep. Over 1,200 mourners attend the funeral at the National Cathedral.