THEY DID NOT TAKE MY SOUL (Illustration) American History Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs Poetry Biographies Famous People

On the 8th of April, 1961, Helen Keller and her personal secretary, Evelyn Seide, met with President Kennedy. Abbie Rowe, a White-House photographer, took the picture from which this image is cropped. The photo is online via the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Click on the image to see more closely how Ms. Keller communicated via finger-spelling.


After Polly Thomson died, Helen Keller continued to make appearances until she suffered her first stroke, in October of 1961.  The next year, a film version of The Miracle Worker (with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke) was released.  It won Oscars for both stars. 

Although retired from public life, Helen received America's highest civilian honor - the Presidential Medal of Freedom - in 1964.  A year later, she received another honor when she was elected to the Women's Hall of Fame.

Helen's long and eventful life closed on June 1, 1968, when she died in her sleep.  The ashes of this remarkable 88-year-old pioneer were interred at America's National Cathedral where they now rest (in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea) between those of two other special people - Annie Sullivan and Polly Thomson.

Although she has been gone for more than four decades, Helen Keller's words still resonate.  Among the most poignant, are these from "Mine to Keep" (found on the back cover of her book The Faith of Helen Keller):

They took away what should have been my eyes
    (But I remembered Milton's Paradise).

They took away what should have been my ears,
    (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears).

They took away what should have been my tongue,
    (But I had talked with God when I was young).

He would not let them take away my soul -
    Possessing that, I still possess the whole.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: May 02, 2019

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"THEY DID NOT TAKE MY SOUL" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2009. Jun 02, 2020.
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