Helen Keller Day

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Helen Keller Day
Hellen Keller circa 1920.jpg
Helen Keller circa 1920
Observed by United States of America
Type National observance
Frequency annual

Helen Keller Day is a commemorative holiday to celebrate the birth of Helen Keller, observed on June 27 annually. The holiday observance was created by presidential proclamation in 1980, as well as by international organizations, particularly those helping the blind and the deaf. The holiday is generally known for its fashion show held on June 27 annually for fundraising purposes.[1]


The holiday was first proclaimed on March 23, 1960, by Newark, New Jersey mayor Leo P. Carlin.[2] On June 7, 1960, by then Annapolis, Maryland mayor Arthur G. Ellington where he proclaimed Keller's 80th birthday,[3] on June 19, 1980, President Jimmy Carter issues Proclamation #4767 to honor Helen Keller and her accomplishment.[4]

Outside of the proclamations, the holiday is also observed by private organizations. Since 1971, the Lions Club International has declared the holiday on June 1 annually to commemorate the speech Keller gave on June 30, 1968, to spread awareness of the American Foundation for the Blind.[5] The day is generally observed internationally through the Blind Association and other international organizations who help people with this disability. Every year on June 27, an annual fashion show is held as a fundraiser in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.[6][7]


Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.[8] [9] The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker, her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum[10] and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.