Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 4226—White Cane Safety Day, 1973

June 16, 1973

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

The White Cane has become an emblem that distinguishes more than one million Americans with severe visual disabilities. It is a symbol of their determination to be self-reliant, independent, and productive members of society.

For all its simplicity, the White Cane provides those individuals with the mobility they need to compete in a very complicated world designed by and for people with unimpaired vision. It helps to provide them with almost miraculous ability to walk in strange and sometimes hazardous surroundings without depending on help from others.

Helen Keller—a courageous pioneer in helping her fellow blind—once observed: ". . . of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful."

Each of us who is blessed with this "delightful" sense, should resolve that while we respect the independence of the visually disabled, we should also make every effort to smooth the path and ease their burden. The first step is to extend every courtesy and care to those who display this badge of courage—the White Cane.

The Congress, as an annual reminder to Americans of the significance of the White Cane, has, by a joint resolution of October 6, 1964 (78 Stat. 1003), authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1973, as White Cane Safety Day.

I urge all Americans to mark this occasion by giving greater consideration for the special needs of the visually handicapped, and particularly by learning to heed the White Cane in order that our visually handicapped may use our streets and public facilities with optimum safety.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-seventh.

Signature of Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon, Proclamation 4226—White Cane Safety Day, 1973 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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