My Heart Almost Stood Still: A Letter by Helen Keller

by Rachel Baker on March 31, 2014

When I was a young girl, the idea of Helen Keller was astounded to me. I’d seen the movie, The Miracle Worker, or maybe I’d seen the play first, I don’t really remember. Either way, I don’t think I was old enough to understand anything other than that Hellen Keller was truly special.

As I got older, I began to realize that people other than Wonder Woman could be on my list of heroes, and what a hero really was. This was right about the same time that I began to learn about Anne Frank – she became my first real life hero. Helen Keller also was put on the list as I began to really understand the magnitude of what she’d accomplished.

I tell you this as the basis for why I’m sharing the following article. This article has nothing to do with books, really. But it does have to do with someone who was an author, and could write beautifully.

In 1924, Helen Keller wrote a letter to the New York Symphony Orchestra thanking them for an amazing performance. She heard it on the radio. Though she is completely deaf, the experience was completely new and wonderful for her.

Read below and click to the link to find out exactly how she describes the experience.

On the evening of February 1st, 1924, the New York Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in New York, conducted by Walter Damrosch. Thankfully for those who couldn’t attend, the performance was broadcast live on the radio. A couple of days later, the orchestra received a stunning letter of thanks from the unlikeliest of sources: Helen Keller, a renowned author and activist who had been deaf and blind from a young age. It can be read below.

Eight years later, Keller wrote an equally evocative letter in which she described the view from atop the Empire State Building.

(Source: The Baton, Volumes 2-3, via Marcus Williams; Image: Helen Keller “listening” to the radio, c.1929, via Angelfire.)

Read the letter at:

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