French composer Napoleon Coste was born on this day in 1805. Check out his Andante in D-Minor for a good example of his work. The anarchist political philosopher Emma Goldman was born in 1869. And poster artist Paul Colin was born in 1892.
Social activist Grace Lee Boggs is 98 today. Ross Perot is 83. Meera Syal is 52. She played Sanjeev’s over-sexed grandmother, Ummi on The Kumars at No. 42. It is a great show that not many people know about. And note: Syal is married to the actor who plays Sanjeev, Sanjeev Bhaskar. Here is a funny clip that is entirely typical of the show:
The day, however, belongs to “that deaf, dumb, and blind” girl, Helen Keller who was born in 1880. She was a remarkable woman. Her thinking was far ahead of its time and our time too. She really didn’t like war monger Woodrow Wilson. She was a socialist, a pacifist, a feminist, and a proponent of birth control. Of course, she was also a big advocate for the rights of the disabled. She was in a unique position to understand both the difficulties suffered by the disabled and their value to society. Here she is with Anne Sullivan from a 1930 newsreel:
Happy birthday Helen Keller!