Helen Keller on the $10

Part of the reason for redesigning our paper currency is to make it accessible to people with difficulty seeing (also, to make it harder to counterfeit). We are one of only two nations whose bills are the same size no matter what the denomination; most countries also vary the colors to make bills more detectable to people who are sight-impaired but not totally blind.

The next bill due for a redo is the $10, and the Treasury has announced that it intends to replace the current occupant, Alexander Hamilton, with a woman.

That being the case, although the women on the front page of today's New York Times -- Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks -- are all admirable, it seems to me that there is one stand-out candidate: Helen Keller (1880–1968).
Struck totally deaf and blind by a childhood illness when she was 19 months old, before she'd learned to speak, she overcame the adversity of being unable hear or see anything to become one of the 20th century's leading humanitarians, an international champion for the disabled, a feminist, a socialist, a teacher and lecturer, a journalist, the first deaf-blind person to earn a BA, and a co-founder of the ACLU.

Parenthetically, it's not too late to erase autocratic, slave-trading, Indian-relocating, populist Andrew Jackson from our currency, instead of Hamilton who, as founder of the nation's financial system (not to mention a far better human being), has a more direct connection to our currency.

The rest of the story:
A Woman on the $10 Bill, and Everyone Has 2 Cents to Put In by Jackie Calmes (New York Times).

Reading list:
What Helen Keller Saw: The making of a writer by Cynthia Ozick (The New Yorker).

Three Days to See by Hellen Keller (1933; The Atlantic Monthly).

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (Amazon).

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (Amazon).

Extra credit:
The Water Scene and the Breakfast Scene from The Miracle Worker (Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke; directed by Arthur Penn; written by William Gibson)(YouTube).
Buy The Miracle Worker (Amazon).

Helen Keller Speaks Out (YouTube)

Hamilton - Original Broadway Cast Recording: book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer Lin Manuel Miranda, who also plays the title role; directed by Thomas Kail; choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler; music direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire. The show was inspired by Chernow's biography (Amazon).

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