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White Cane Safety Day

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White Can Safety Day is an unofficial U.S. and International holiday held on October 15 of every year to increase awareness of the use of the white cane and laws governing its use. It is also a day to celebrate the achievements, aspirations and independence of people who are blind or visually impaired.

History

In December 1930, The first special White Cane Ordinance was passed in Peoria, Illinois which granted blind pedestrians protections and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane. Soon, other states followed. In the 1960's, many state organizations urged Congress to proclaim October 15th, White Cane Safety Day, nationwide.[1]

The first White Cane Safety Day was declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson after a joint resolution was passed by congress on October 6, 1964 (HR 753). In his official Proclamation(3622), President Johnson said, "A white cane in our society has become one of the symbols of a blind person's ability to come and go on his own. Its use has promoted courtesy and special consideration for the blind on our streets and highways. To make our people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane, and of the need for motorists to exercise special care for the blind persons who carry it, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day."[2]

In 1970, the President of the International Federation of the Blind declared October 15 as “International White Cane Safety Day.”

References

  1. Strong, Philip. "History of White Cane Safety Day." American Council of the Blind. Accessed on February 25, 2008.
  2. "Woolley,John T. and Gerhard Peters. "Proclamation 3622 - White Cane Safety Day, 1964." , The American Presidency Project Online. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California. Accessed on February 25, 2008.

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