Sunday, September 1, 2013

RADCLIFFE | Sept. 1–Helen Keller Graduates

Helen Keller, graduate.
Helen Keller graduated from Radcliffe today in 1904. Garrison Keillor notes that she was "the first blind-and-deaf student ever to graduate from any college anywhere." She said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Her portrait hangs prominently in the Harvard Club of New York City.

However, five years later, perhaps inspired by Helen Keller's graduation, Inez Milholland - a graduating senior at Vassar - applied to the Harvard Law School. She would have been the first woman admitted to the Law School. The faculty decided she was qualified. But the Law School administration ruled that the seat would be wasted on a woman.

So Milholland went instead to NYU Law School and worked with the Triangle Shirtwaist workers on their strike in 1909 and after their disastrous fire in 1911. She led, on horseback, woman suffrage parades in New York in 1912 and 1913 and the huge and violent suffrage parade in Washington, DC in 1913.