June 27, 1880
Author and activist Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia. Left blind and deaf from an unknown illness at 19 months old, Keller learned to communicate with help from her longstanding instructor and companion, Anne Sullivan. Throughout her life, Keller became a prolific writer – publishing 12 books – and an international lecturer who visited more than 30 countries. She tirelessly advocated for causes such as women’s rights, labor rights, socialism and antimilitarism. Keller received the Congressional Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and a bronze statue in her likeness represents Alabama at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.