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The Most Influential American In U.S


History: Helen Keller

Wiktoria Patrycia Hejnas


U.S History Period 5
Mr. V. Munoz
May 15th, 2016

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The Most Influential American in U.S History


Blind, deaf, and mute but still persistent and determined. Helen Keller was born on June
27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. When she was only 19 months old she became ill with brain
fever and was left blind, deaf, and mute. As Helen grew older she was having difficulty
communicating with others. She got pretty unruly at times and much of her family believed that
she should become institutionalized. Her mother decided to look for further help to control
Hellen and educate her. Helens teacher, Ann Sullivan, helped her develop her communication
skills through sign language, and using her sense of touch and smell to identify people and
objects around her. In 1890 Keller began to take speech classes in Boston so that others could
understand her and she could communicate better. In 1896 she attended Cambridge School for
Ladies where her story became more and more known to the public. Eventually famous and
influential people had heard of Helens story and were immediately fascinated by her
determination and drive. Such people as Mark Twain, who introduced her to Henry H. Rogers
that agreed to pay for Helen to go to college and be accompanied by Ann Sullivan. Having
mastered lip-touch reading, braille, speech and many more, Keller wrote her first book entitled
The Story Of My Life. At just 24 years old she graduated, cum laude, from Radcliffe College.
(Biography.com) After college Helen became more curious about the world and how she could
help the lives of others. Helen started sharing her experiences with others and working her best
in order to help the lives of those with disabilities. Throughout the first half of the 20th century,
Keller tackled social and political issues, including womens suffrage, pacifism, and birth
control... In 1920, she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union. (Biography.com) In
1924 she started helping raise awareness, money and support for those that were blind, and
less fortunate. Through many of Hellens speeches and presentations she inspired and
encouraged millions of people.She also helped raise awareness for the blind and she did
anything that she could to help better other peoples lives such as those with disabilities and
those less fortunate.She was a person that put others needs before her own for example when
she helped a man who was also deaf-mute and blind and came from a very poor family, go to
school by paying for some of the schools cost by public funding and her personal requests.
Helen Keller was the most influential American in United States history because 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. (Biography.com) which
basically means she showed people that with a little determination anything is possible to
overcome and any goal you set for yourself is reachable.She as well showed others what
handicapped people are capable of and she opened doors for those in need.

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Helen could be characterized as a person with a never ending drive. She


continuously kept giving back to the people and working hard to ensure equality for
everyone. In 1920 she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union along with Jane
Addams, Roger Baldwin and many more. The ACLU was a non profit organization
whose goal was to defend and preserve the rights and freedom entitlements of
individuals guaranteed by the Constitution. The union still exist and still continues to
defend its original campaign as well as its own current campaign which states : Keep
America Safe And Free: The ACLU Campaign To Defend The Constitution This
campaign to safeguard democracy in a time of crisis, launched Oct. 16, 2002, sounds
an alarm about Bush administration efforts to curtail basic liberties under the pretext of
rooting out terrorism. It seeks to influence government through public activism,
advocacy, litigation and lobbying, and includes $2.5 million for cable TV ads in major
markets, spelling out the dangers of increased spying on Americans and other
government actions taken since Sept. 11, 2001.
Not only that but Helen Keller was also the founder of the American Foundation for the
Blind (AFB) and worked with the organization for over 40 years. Their mission states
that : The American Foundation for the Blind removes barriers, creates solutions,
and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential.
Helen Keller made a great impact on the U.S history because she helped found the
many organization that still exist today that have helped ensure/secure our born
given rights and the constitution. Both of these two organizations have worked to
improve and protect the lives of thousands of people. The ACLU fought to make
sure that no one was being deprived of their inalienable rights given to them by their
creator and to protect the constitution. The AFB on the other hand fought for a
specific group of people and helped them achieve their full potential as well as work
to help them better their lives with opportunities and hope. If not for Helen these 2
organizations and many more would not have been as successful as they were/are
and/or may not have even existed in our history. These couple of organization have
also influenced many different organizations to be founded in order to help the lives
of many other people, for example; the AFB influenced the Helen Keller
International, Helen Keller Foundation, Helen Keller Services for the blind and many,
many more. If not for Helen Keller and her work with her organizations these new
programs/organizations would not exist.

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Although Keller influenced and worked tirelessly with her many organizations
to help bring equality and hope into our country, she also inspired the world with her
incredible words of wisdom and her fearless actions toward achieving her goals and
showing the world that a person can do anything if they put their mind to it. Helen
Keller was a public speaker that traveled all over the world and visited 37 countries.
Her accomplishments inspired thousands of people to follow in her footsteps and
take her accomplishments and apply them to their own lives. Helen was the first
person who could not see or hear to graduate from college and was the first woman
awarded honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. She Authored 13
books,won an Oscar was a movie star, was awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, was Americas goodwill ambassador to the world and assisted Lions Club
International which is still active today. Because of all these achievements Keller
was able to face the world and do whatever she put her mind to. Despite the
struggles and challenges that she faced, Helens drive and determination led her
into conquering her challenges and achieving her goals and dreams that she put
upon herself. This inspired many people with disabilities and even those without to
follow their dreams and put their mind to what they want to achieve. As a public
speaker and activist who labored for the betterment of others Helen Keller made
quite an influence and impact on the U.S history as well as the history of many other
areas around the world.
Helen Keller, activist, public speaker, movie star, author, founder of multiple
organizations, teacher, and many many more was a big part of our U.S history as
well as our present life. Although many people may argue that Helen was a
communist that mainly focused on helping those with certain selected disabilities,
from the information already given it can be concluded that Keller was an activist
that labored for the betterment of everyones lives that she could. If Helen was not
the person that she was, history would not have been the same for obvious reasons
and many of the accomplishments that the country has made thus far from her
action would not have been existent today. Helen Keller showed people that with a
little determination anything is possible to overcome and any goal you set for yourself is
reachable. She as well showed others what handicapped people are capable of and she
opened doors for those in need. Through many of Hellens speeches and presentations
she inspired and encouraged millions of people.She also helped raise awareness for
the blind and she did anything that she could to help better other peoples lives such as
those with disabilities and those less fortunate. Thus making her the most influential
person in U.S History.

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[Works Cited Page

"Helen Keller." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
"Helen Keller Biography." - American Foundation for the Blind. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
History.com Staff. "Helen Keller." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 25
Apr.
>>>>>2016.
http://www.afb.org/info/about-us/helen-keller/12
http://www.theartofhappiness.net/happiness-resources/free-happiness-ebooks/helenkeller.pdf
http://www.hki.org/
https://www.helenkeller.org/hknc
http://www.helenkellerfoundation.org/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/helen-keller-services-for-the-blind

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http://www.afb.org/info/message-of-renewed-hope-delivered-before-the-boston-jewish-club-at-bosto
n-massachusetts-september-10-1952/5