Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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March 8th
“Life is a daring adventure”
In 1887, six-year-old Helen Keller spent this day getting to know her new teacher, Anne Sullivan, who had arrived at the Keller household in Alabama less than a week before.

Helen was not two years old when she came down with an illness that robbed her of sight and hearing for the rest of her life. For the next few years she grew up, as she later wrote, “wild and unruly, giggling and chuckling to express pleasure; kicking, scratching, uttering the choked screams of the deaf-mute to indicate the opposite.”

Then Anne Sullivan arrived from Boston and moved in with Helen’s family, determined to help the girl break out of her lonely world of darkness and silence. With painstaking determination and love, Anne taught Helen to spell words with her fingers, then to read and write braille. Eventually, Helen learned to speak. Anne devoted much of the rest of her life to her student. With her help, Helen grew up to

– graduate from prestigious Radcliff College with honors;

– give lectures around the globe and write books that sold the world over;

– star in a movie about her own life;

– meet with every president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson;

– receive countless awards, from France’s Legion of Honor to the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom; and

– swim, ride horses and bicycles, play chess, go camping, and ride in an open-cockpit airplane.
Americans loved Helen Keller for her unconquerable spirit. “Life,” she once wrote, “is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

American History Parade
1796
The U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of a congressional act for the first time when it upholds a carriage tax in Hylton v. United States.

1817
The New York Stock Exchange is formally chartered.

1965
The first U.S. combat troops arrive in South Vietnam when Marines land near Da Nang to secure an air base.

1983
In a speech in Florida, President Ronald Reagan refers to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” signaling that he is determined to stand fast against Communist totalitarianism.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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