Helen Keller seated at right with mother, Kate Adams Keller, and Annie Sullivan (standing), 1914 Library of Congress

On this day: Helen Keller Day at the PPIE

Nearly 19 million people from all walks of life thronged through the turnstiles of San Francisco’s 1915 World’s Fair—young and old, men and women, ordinary and famous.

Among the celebrated fairgoers were the author Laura Ingalls Wilder, the horticulturist Luther Burbank, the inventors Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, former president Theodore Roosevelt, the escape artist Harry Houdini, and the educator/activist Helen Keller.

“Helen Keller is the eighth wonder of the world,” wrote her friend and the literary giant Mark Twain in his January 1901 journal entry. The social reformer Upton Sinclair called Keller “America’s most famous blind girl . . . who has come to see more than most people with normal eyes.” The planners of the fair surely agreed, for they designated November 6, 1915, Helen Keller Day. ... Read More >

Year-long Citywide Centennial Celebration of 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) Officially Kicks Off February 21st with Free, Fun-Filled Community Day Festivities

San Francisco, Calif. (February 9, 2015) – Get Ready San Francisco Bay Area! The centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) officially kicks off the weekend of February 20th with three days filled with spectacular events, activities, exhibitions, historic light displays and entertainment for history buffs, innovators and families that will bring to life the spirit and innovation of the 1915 World’s Fair. ... Read More >

The phone call that changed the world

100 years ago today the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (now AT&T) conducted the first transcontinental telephone call between New York City, San Francisco, Jekyll Island, Georgia and Washington, DC. ... Read More >