candid color photo of Helen Keller with young relatives and Winifred Corbally in Dallas, Texas, 1961.

Photo: Helen Keller seated in an armchair next to Winifred Corbally (right). Keller's young grandniece Margot Keller and another child stand in front. Texas, 1961.

Today we give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives, and on this particular Thanksgiving, the American Foundation for the Blind has a special word of gratitude to the Texas Board of Education. On Friday, November 16, the board voted to keep Helen Keller (1880-1968) in the school curriculum. This decision has ensured that school students in Texas will learn about Helen Keller’s life, and her work to conquer misconceptions about blindness.

In her 1957 book The Open Door, Keller wrote, “It is not possible for civilization to flow backwards while there is youth in the world.” This is so true. But there is an implicit understanding in this quotation—that youth, with all its energy and vitality, will choose the “right” path. We thank all those educators around the country for guiding our children, for taking the time to teach our students about kindness and civility as exemplified by Helen Keller.

Thousands of school children and adults around the globe corresponded with Helen during her lifetime and continue to be inspired by her life and legacy. The Helen Keller Archive is filled with these marvelous documents. Enjoy this wonderful letter from Judy Aday, a sixth-grade student at James Bowie School in Midland, Texas, written to Keller in 1955. And Happy Thanksgiving!