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Opinion: Statuary Hall’s newest resident -- Helen Keller

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For those who’ve read their history, or at least seen ‘The Miracle Worker,’ it’s an indelible and inspiring moment: The deaf and blind Helen Keller, under the guidance of her teacher Anne Sullivan, successfully spells out in sign language the word ‘water’ while at a water pump.

That’s the moment captured in a new bronze statue, which was unveiled today at the Capitol. The ceremony took place in the Capitol Rotunda, but the statue will be installed in the famed Statuary Hall.

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The hall has been in the news of late. A 7-foot-tall bronze of Ronald Reagan was installed this year, replacing one of Thomas Starr King, a Unitarian minister who was credited by President Lincoln with helping keep California on the side of the Union during the Civil War.

The Keller statue will take the place of a statue of Jabez Curry, whose likeness will be transferred to Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. (Currey, whose full name was Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, was a congressman, lawyer, diplomat and officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.)

Follow this link for more on the historic personages in Statuary Hall.

And follow the jump for an image from the famous film.

-- Steve Padilla

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Top photo: Helen Keller statue unveiled Wednesday in the Capitol. Credit: European Pressphoto Assn. Bottom photo: Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in ‘The Miracle Worker.’ Credit: Los Angeles Times file photo.


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