Helen Keller, a woman who inspired the disabled to live fuller lives, appeared at Richmond's East Main Friends Church before a massive audience that could see and hear her, but she could not see or hear them.
Helen arrived with teacher Anne Sullivan on December 16, 1913 and spoke about "why this is such a beautiful world to me." Her sight and hearing had been destroyed at the age of 1 1/2 and as a result she could not speak. For almost five years she grew up wild and unruly, totally shut off from the world.
When Helen was seven, Anne Sullivan became the ‘miracle worker’ through which the child’s mind made contact. Helen gradually began to connect words with objects and her brilliant mind was able to express itself to the world.
She graduated Radcliff with honors in 1904 and went on to give lectures and write books. She lectured on behalf of the blind in over 25 nations, and worked with soldiers blinded in World War II.
Her books were translated into more than 50 languages and a hit film and play were made about her.
When she appeared at the local Friends Church she replied to the question, “Are you happy?” by placing her sensitive fingers to the lips of her teacher as a smile spread broadly across her face. “Yes.”
The next question was, “In what do you take the most pleasure?”
Her answer touched the 1,000 hearts present, “Next to a good book, I like to walk in the woods and to play with children.”
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