WHITE CANE SAFETY DAY - National Declaration / Michigan History
On October 6, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, declared that a National Observance of White Cane Safety Day be held on Ocotber 15 of each year. A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, H.R. 753, was signed into law as Pub.L. 88–628, and codified at 36 U.S.C. § 142.
This resolution authorizes and requires that the President of the United States proclaim October 15 of each year as "White Cane Safety Day".
In 1969, the International Federation of the Blind also adopted October 15th each year as “International White Cane Safety Day.”
WHITE CANE DAYS MISSION
There is more than one purpose of White Cane Safey Day.
1. First and primary is to educate the world about blindness and how the blind and visually impaired can live and work independently while giving back to their communities. Also to acknowledge the abilities and successes achieved by blind people in a sighted world and to honor the many contributions being made by the blind and visually impaired.
2. The white cane is an important mobility tool for for those with limited or no sight as well as the symbol of their independence. Therefore it's important to educate everyone about the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind person who carries it. Canes have been used by blind people for centuries, but the white cane was introduced in the early 20th century and were painted white to be more easily visible.
3. Lions Clubs around the world will annually raise funds in support of providing this education and to assist those who have sight issues.
LAINGSBURG LIONS WHITE CANE DAYS
Laingsburg Lions Club holds their single day White Cane fund raising event to raise funds for sight related projects. On October 16th, (Saturday), they will be at the major four corner intersections to raise funds for these purposes. 100% of the money we make from our events like the Springtime Festival is used towards projects that benefit the community in some way. This is the one event where 100% of the funds collected get donated to projects that are site related.
NEED A WHITE CANE?
The National Federation of the Blind believes that a long white cane is a means to independence. The white cane has been proven to be a useful tool to those millions of blind people who need to be mobile in todays world. The white cane assist those with vision difficulties by allowing one to more confident. It also allows blind people to more safely travel where and when they want.
If you are in need of a white cane, you may access the National Federation of the Blind website by clicking on this link. There you will find a online application or the option of downloading a pdf application as well as other information pertaining to white cane options.
WHITE CANE HISTORY
In 1921, James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England, became blind following an accident. Because he was feeling uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.
In 1930, the late George A. Bonham, President of the Peoria Lions Club (Illinois) introduced the idea of using the white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility. The Peoria Lions approved the idea, white canes were made and distributed, and the Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right-ofway to cross the street. News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions clubs throughout the United States, and their visually handicapped friends experimented with the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by the blind and sighted alike quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special need for travel consideration among their sighted counterparts.
Today white cane laws are on the books of every state in the US and many other countries, providing blind persons a legal status in traffic. The white cane now universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind. For specific information contact your local government office for motor vehicles.
The following links include a proclamation made by each president that has served office since Lyndon B. Johnson made the 1st Proclamation.
October 15, 1972 Richard Nixon
October 15,1975 Gerald Ford
August 8, 1978 Jimmy Carter
October 9, 1985 Ronald Regan
October 11, 1990 George H. W. Bush
October 15, 1997 William J Clinton
October 14, 2005 George W. Bush
October 15, 2009 Barack Obama
October 12, 2018 Donald J. Trump
October 14, 2021 Joseph R. Biden Jr.
October 15, 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson