(Rare!) Helen Keller & Anne Sullivan (1930 Newsreel Footage)
This "rare" footage of Helen Keller accompanied by Anne Sullivan almost left me speechless. I was absolutely in awe of the way in which Helen, who was both blind, deaf and mute, overcame the boundaries and limitations set before her. "Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. In 1882, she fell ill and was struck blind, deaf and mute. Beginning in 1887, Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. In 1920, Keller helped found the ACLU.
The extraordinary determination and courage of Helen Keller to overcome the severe challenge of becoming blind, deaf and mute at 18 months old after contracting an illness called "brain fever" by the family doctor, we can clearly draw the conclusion that all things are possible when the amount of effort, persistence and determination required are released to succeed and accomplish what one desires to do. It also represents that the reason and determining factor behind why people are committed or uncommitted to fulfillment of purpose and accomplishing goals is simply a matter of choice.
What was even more astounding about Helen Keller's story is how she learned to speak as Ann Sullivan, who had recently graduated from Perkin's Institute for the blind, began to work with her beginning with learning to "finger spell" connecting with objects. Her journey with Anne Sullivan extended over 49 years during which time Helen Keller mastered several methods of communication, including touch-lip reading, Braille, speech, typing and finger-spelling.
The ability to learn to speak transformed Helen's life. Her 1st book and autobiography, "The Story of My Life" was extraordinary. It told the story about the transformation of her life from childhood to a 21 year old college student, which was used as the basis for the television drama called "The Miracle Worker" in 1957. In 1959, the story was developed into a Broadway play featuring Patty Duke as Keller and Ann Bancroft as Sullivan.
From 1894 to 1896, She attended Ratcliff College and graduated cum laude in 1904 at the age of 24. Helen became a celebrity and well-known lecturer by sharing her experiences with audience and working on behalf of others with disabilities. She also testified before Congress, strongly advocating to improve the welfare of blind people.
In 1915, along with George Kessler, a renowned city planner in New York, Helen Keller co-founded Helen Keller International to combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. In 1946, Helen was appointed counselor of international relations for the American Foundation of Overseas Blind. Between 1946 and 1957, she traveled to 35 countries on five continents. In 1955 at the age of 75, she set out on the longest and most grueling trip of her life in a 40,000 mile journey across Asia, which took 5 months. During her trip she brought encouragement and inspiration to millions of people.
During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments, including the "Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal in 1936, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, and election to the Women's Hall of Fame in 1965. She also received honorary degrees from Temple University and Harvard University and from the universities of Glasgow, Scotland; Berlin, Germany; Delhi, India; and Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Additionally, she was named an Honorary Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland. Helen Keller died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, just a few weeks before her 88th birthday. During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments. During her remarkable life, Keller stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of persistence, she grew into a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others." (Helen Keller, Biography.com)
The story of Helen Keller is a great inspiration to everyone who desires to fulfill their destiny and accomplish great things. If Helen Keller had the ability to overcome the insurmountable challenges that she faced and experience a total transformation of her life in spite of being blind, deaf and mute, how much more can you accomplish if you are committed to purpose, vision and a worthwhile cause in God. You can make it and overcome everything that opposes you in Jesus mighty name!! Be encouraged to reach beyond the stars, and may the Lord bless you as you endeavor to serve Him and fulfill His will for your life in Jesus wonderful name. Be sure to "Share" this inspirational story with someone else that you know, and be a blessing to them also. "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)