White Cane Safety Day commemorates a law that was passed in 1930 granting blind pedestrians protection and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane.
The NFB (National Federation of the Blind) worked hard with governors from every state in 1963 to request that October 15th of each year be recognized as White Cane Safety Day. This was approved on October 6th 1964 by joint resolution of the United States Congress, H.R. 753, and was signed into law as Pub.L. 88–628, and codified at 36 U.S.C. § 142. This resolution authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15th of each year as “White Cane Safety Day”. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation within hours of the passage of the joint resolution.
The white cane is an international symbol of blindness or visual impairment and allows people greater mobility and a sense of safety as they navigate various places. The white cane was properly introduced after World War I.
In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.