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Helen Keller's Big Audience

Creator: n/a
Date: October 19, 1904
Publication: The New York Times
Source: Available at selected libraries

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Way Through Window Forced for Her at World's Fair Building.


Special to The New York Times.


ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 18. -- This was Helen Keller day at the fair, and when she arrived at the Hall of Congresses, where the exercises were held, the crowd was so dense that every aisle, window, and doorway was filled. Jefferson Guards finally forced a passageway through one of the windows and thus the young woman, President Francis, and other members of her party entered the building.


A storm of applause greeted Miss Keller when she arose to speak the words she could not hear to the audience she could not see, and when a gentle pressure of the hand apprised her of the nature of the reception she bowed and smiled her thanks. Miss Keller delivered her address in low tones. President Francis repeated each sentence after her, so that all in the great audience could hear.


Miss Lottie Sullivan, the Colorado deaf, dumb, and blind girl, who is frequently referred to as Helen Keller's rival, sat in the audience and seemed to enjoy the address, every word of it being communicated to her by hand pressure. Later Miss Sullivan and Miss Keller were introduced and conversed in sign language for about five minutes.