Helen Keller’s Birthplace

Helen Keller’s Birthplace is located in Tuscumbia, AL. The Birthplace is also known as Ivy Green. The house was filled with family pictures, and original furniture. There is a cottage next door which served as the school house. On the grounds is a outdoor stage, each year the play “The Miracle Worker” is performed during the Helen Keller Festival. I remember the first time I watched the movie The Miracle Worker. Being at her birthplace and seeing the water pump where she learned her first word, “water” was amazing. After walking thru the house we went outside and saw a display of the Lion’s Club. At was in this display that there is a video of Helen Keller speaking. The video starts with Anne Sullivan talking about how Helen Keller learned to speak by putting her fingers in Anne’s mouth to feel how her mouth moves while speaking and feels her throat vibrations. Then Helen is led to the microphone and starts talking. I had never heard her speak before and hearing her speak, with just perfect annunciation was amazing. She overcame so many odds in her life. 

Helen Keller had many dogs over her lifetime, but she is the first person to bring the Akita to America. While in Japan for a speaking tour she learned about Hachiko, she asked if she could have an Akita, as she was impressed with the loyalty of the breed. She was gifted her first Akita, Kamikaze-Go (Kami), but unfortunately he died from Distemper at 8 months old, Japanese officials heard about this and sent a second Akita as an “official gift from the Japanese Government.” Kenzan-Go (Go Go) is the dog in the picture. It is this picture that made the Akita known in America.

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