Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. 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.
Proclamation 4767 - Helen Keller Day (June 19, 1980)
By the President of the United States of America
"Stories of brave individuals battling seemingly insurmountable odds fire our imagination and pride as human beings. So it is with the remarkable life of Helen Keller. Her incredible fight against, and eventual triumph over, the multiple handicaps of deafness and blindness made her a world-famous symbol of hope for all handicapped people.
Today we honor the 100th anniversary of Helen Keller’s birth. In so doing, we honor also the patience and understanding of her devoted teacher Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller refused to let her handicaps cut her off from a life of usefulness and service to others. Through her own determination and faith, she was able to develop and use her talents and demonstrate how much even the most severely handicapped individual can accomplish when proper training and rehabilitation opportunities are provided.
As a mark of respect for her achievements, the Congress, by joint resolution, has authorized the President to proclaim June 27, 1980, as "HELEN KELLER DAY".
Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate June 27, 1980, as "HELEN KELLER DAY". I urge all appropriate Federal departments and agencies to foster the recognition of Helen Keller’s achievements on that day with ceremonies, programs, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourth."
Source: ucsb.edu | wikipedia.org