Eighty years ago, in May 1941, seven months before the United States entered the Second World War, Helen Keller visited the Rochester School for the Deaf and was asked if she thought that democracies would triumph over totalitarian aggressors, Helen replied "Yes, definitely, after a long, hard fight. Justice and truth are embodied in human democratic institutions.”
In a year filled with challenges, including a bizarre idea that circulated on social media questioning Helen Keller’s existence, let us celebrate Helen’s birthday this June 27th with a salute to her unwavering advocacy for justice, truth and knowledge.
Happy birthday to this awesome woman who spoke truth to power!
[Typewritten Text] Helen Keller’s address to the Senior Class at Columbia Preparatory School May 27, 1941
My message to you, dear girls is this: A few years from now you will be out in the world. You will find it full of harsh challenge and difficulty. But no matter what happens, hold fast to the ideal world you have looked upon during your student days. Believe in your own powers, find out what you can do best and do that as your proudest achievement. Look upon each obstacle you encounter as a race in which to throw your courage and intelligence. Remember, much of the world’s noblest achievement has been wrought by people with a heavy handicap.
“Blow your bugles of faith
Set the wild echoes flying,”
and it will be wonderful for you to discover how other lives respond with inspiration and beauty.
HELEN KELLER [End of Typewritten Text]
From the Helen Keller Archive: Remarks by Helen Keller on the dedication of the Rochester School of the Deaf and commencement at Columbia Prepatory School.