COLUMBUS, Ga. – Blind veterans across the country are raising awareness for White Cane Day. A group from the local Blinded Veterans Association walked around Uptown Saturday with white canes hoping to make a positive statement.
The white cane itself has a rich history dating back to 1921 when an American artist James Biggs claimed to have invented the first white cane after he was injured in an accident After his accident, Biggs used a cane to get around. He painted it white to let people know he was blind.
In 1945, some blind veterans and a doctor came up with a long cane, which is the version of a modern-day cane. Raymond Thorn with the Blinded Veterans Association of Columbus wants folks to know that they’re a very active part of the community.
“One of our goals is to inform the community let them know that people with white canes are individuals. We’re not delicate and you can also approach us and that we’re valuable citizens like everyone else,” he said.
President Lyndon B. Johnson established White Cane Safety Day in 1964.