Helen Keller Statue Unveiling
A statue of Helen Keller was unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda. Participants in the ceremony talked about her life and legacy, praising… read more
A statue of Helen Keller was unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda. Participants in the ceremony talked about her life and legacy, praising her as a trailblazer and an inspiration for those with disabilities.
Each state has two statues in the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. This statue replaces one from the state of Alabama. It is the first statue in the collection showing a person with a disability as well as being the first statue of a child. The bronze statue shows 7-year-old Helen Keller, at her home in Tuscumbia, Alabama, holding one hand under a water pump. This moment when her teacher spelled “W-A-T-E-R” into her other hand was when the child without hearing or sight understood what language was.
Speakers included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Republican Leader John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Alabama Governor Bob Riley, and Carl Augusto, president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind, for which Helen Keller (1880-1968) worked as an advocate for the disabled.
More than 40 of Helen Keller’s relatives attended the ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Students from the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind sang a medley of patriotic songs.
The entire program is approximately 50 minutes. This 5 minute video is the only portion available to view online. It is not available to purchase. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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