March 3, 1887

On this day in 1887, 20-year-old Anne Sullivan arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family’s estate, to begin teaching their 6-year-old deafblind daughter, Helen. Born to Irish immigrant parents in Feeding Hills, MA, Anne herself went blind as a child. She attended Boston’s Perkins School for the Blind–the same school Helen Keller eventually attented. Operations restored Anne’s vision, and in 1886 she graduated as class valedictorian.The Perkins Institution recommended Anne to the Kellers when they inquired about help for their daughter. She began immediately, teaching Helen to associate objects with their names by making signs into the palm of Helen’s hand. The two became lifelong companions, living, working and traveling together until Anne’s death in 1936.

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