On June 1, 1968, American author, political activist, and lecturer Helen Keller died at the age of 87. Keller contracted an illness at 19 months old that left her blind and deaf, but with the help of Anne Sullivan, a woman who would become her lifelong companion, Keller overcame many obstacles and went on to pass the admissions examinations for Radcliffe College at the age of 16. She graduated cum laude in 1904, the first blind and deaf person to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Over the course of her life, Keller crusaded for improved education for the handicapped and published 14 books on political, social, and educational issues as well as memoirs and her autobiography. Keller lived in Easton in Fairfield County for almost 30 years in a house she called Arcan Ridge. In 1946 the home, with all its contents and many of her personal papers, burned while she was on one of her many trips abroad. Keller built an almost identical replica of the original and lived there until her death in 1968.