was born JUNE 27, 1880.
At the age of two she suffered an illness that left her blind and deaf.
Her parents took her to
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell
who recommended the
Perkins Institute for the Blind
It was there, at age of 7, that
was taught by
through the sense of touch.
to read Braille.
began attending Radcliffe College, where
interpreted the lectures.
became concerned about all the blind, especially the soldiers who were
blinded in World War I.
She championed the cause of those who suffering as a result of
poor working conditions.
Though naive in her political views, she received numerous international honors for her efforts to help the blind.
learned to type on a Braille typewriter and wrote many books between 1903 and 1941, including:
-The Story of My Life
-The World I Live In
-The Song of the Stone Wall
-Out of the Dark
-Let Us Have Faith
, 1941; and
-The Open Door
"I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God."
In the film documentary of her life,
responded to the question, "Can you see the world?":
"I can see, and that is why I can be so happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden.
I can see a God-made world, not a man-made world."
On June 26, 1955, regarding reading the Bible,
"It gives me a deep comforting sense that 'things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.'"
The Jewish & Christian Bible view of handicapped persons is strikingly different from other belief systems.
attitude is that a handicapped person is being punished or cursed of Allah. "Such are the men whom Allah has cursed for He has made them deaf and blinded their sight." (Qur'an 47:23)
attitude is that a handicapped person is being punished for sins of a supposed past life by an impersonal "bad" karma.
attitude is that a handicapped person is a burden on the State, being worth less because of their limited capacity to contribute to society.
In contrast, the
attitude is in Leviticus 19:14 "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD," and Deuteronomy 27:18 "Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen."
attitude was expressed by Jesus, who said "Whatever you have done unto the least of these my brethren you have done unto me."
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"Just as all things upon earth represent and image forth all the realities of another world, so the Bible is one mighty representative of the whole spiritual life of humanity."
On February 5, 1955, at the age of 74,
typed a message on a conventional typewriter during an interview with newsmen just prior to her 40,000 mile world-wide journey, much of which was by airplane:
"It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears."
On June 26, 1955, the day before her 75th birthday,
"Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world."
was introduced to
President Grover Cleveland
at age 7.
She received letters from eight U.S. Presidents - from
in 1903 to
Lyndon B. Johnson
President John F. Kennedy.
She received the French Legion of Honor and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
A statue of
as a young girl, learning the sense of touch at a water pump is in the U.S. Capitol from the State of Alabama.
"Four things to learn in life:
To think clearly without hurry or confusion;
To love everybody sincerely;
To act in everything with the highest motives;
To trust God unhesitatingly."