Monday, May 20, 2013

Helen Keller with Rabindranath Thakur at a meeting of the New History Society, c. 1930, U.S.

Helen Keller was a life-long socialist, activist for disability rights, prolific author and orator, and all-around bad-ass.

Rabindranath Thakur (anglicised to Tagore) was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. He became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He was a fierce anti-imperialist and an early advocate of Indian independence from British colonialism.

Description: Newspaper clipping. Helen Keller meets Indian poet and educationalist, Sir Rabindranath Tagore. Caption below photograph reads, "A sage from the Orient meets a famous woman of the Occident. Sir Rabindranath Tagore, eminent Indian poet and educationalist, conversing with Helen Keller, noted blind woman of America, on the problem of India. At the meeting of the New History Society in New York, at which Tagore gave his farewell message to American people, Miss Keller spoke in the interests of India."
Date: circa 1930
Format: newspaper clipping
Digital Identifier: AG62-3-002
Rights: Samuel P. Hayes Research Library, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA

Note: The New History Society was formed in New York City in 1929 as way of spreading the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith. It was primarily an educational movement, the chief activity of which was international correspondence. The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. It was founded by `Abdu'l-Bahá, a Persian man who spent much of his life living in Palestine. In the Bahá'í Faith, religious history is seen to have unfolded through a series of divine messengers, each of whom established a religion that was suited to the needs of the time and the capacity of the people. These messengers have included Abrahamic figures as well as Dharmic ones - Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others. Between 1911-13, `Abdu'l-Bahá traveled to Europe and North America to spread his faith. During his talks he proclaimed Bahá'í principles such as the unity of God, unity of the religions, oneness of humanity, equality of women and men, world peace and economic justice. He also insisted that all his meetings be open to all races.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you for finding and posting these photographs.

  2. Thanks for these priceless photos.