White Cane Safety Day

White Cane Safety Day

Today is White Cane Safety Day – it is a national observance in the United States to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.

In February of 1978 a young blind lady said, “I encounter people all of the time who bless me, extol my independence, call me brave and courageous, and thoroughly miss the boat as to what the real significance of the white cane is.”…

The 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 to 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 Congress, by a joint resolution approved as of October 6, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day…

From 1963 (and even before) when the National Federation of the Blind sought to have White Cane Safety Day proclaimed as a recognition of the rights of blind persons, to 1978 when a blind pedestrian met with misunderstanding regarding the true meaning of the white cane, is but a short time in the life of a movement. In 1963, a comparatively small number of blind people had achieved sufficient independence to travel alone on the busy highways of our nation. In 1978 that number has not simply increased but multiplied a hundredfold. The process began in the beginning of the organized blind movement and continues today. There was a time when it was unusual to see a blind person on the street, to find a blind person working in an office, or to see a blind person operating machinery in a factory. This is still all too uncommon. But it happens more often and the symbol of this independence is the white cane. The blind are able to go, to move, to be, and to compete with all others in society. The means by which this is done is that simple tool, the white cane. With the growing use of the white cane is an added element – the wish and the will to be free – the unquenchable spirit and the inextinguishable determination to be independent. With these our lives are changed, and the prospects for blind people become bright. That is what White Cane Safety Day is all about. That is what we do in the National Federation of the Blind. – Marc Maurer, National Federation of the Blind

For someone with a brother who is visually impaired, I can attest to the courage required to meet the challenges of everyday life.  Humans are hardwired with a dread of the dark.  That is where the fear, the uncertainty, and the possibility of all our collective nightmares live.  The blind and visually impaired find themselves trapped in this realm that we are only one dawn or light switch away from banishing.

For them, those fears are a palpable reality.  To live their lives in a productive and fulfilling manner they get up EVERY DAY and step into that darkness.  With every step, they declare their unwillingness to be beaten.  They show us all that courage comes not from being unafraid.  It comes from knowing that fear and striving on in the face of that fear.

God bless you all.  I am proud of you.

WCD 2013

And remember, October is Meet The Blind Month.

If you want information on how you can learn more about sight issues or to donate, please check out some of these sites:

Lost and Found – October 10th Edition

What to remember about October 10th…

    • 0732  Coalition of Christian forces defeats Moorish army at Battle of Tours; ends Muslim expansion into Western Europe
    • 1845  United States Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, Maryland with a class of 50 midshipmen
    • 1944  Over 800 Gypsy children are gassed to death at Auschwitz
    • 1971  London Bridge reopens after it is dismantled, moved, and reassembled in Lake Havasu, Arizona
    • 1973  Vice President Spiro Agnew becomes 1st to resign in disgrace after pleading no-contest to tax evasion charges
    • 1985  U.S. fighter planes force plane carrying escaping terrorists from the Achille Lauro attack to land in Italy
    • 1985  American director, actor, and screenwriter Orson Welles dies in Hollywood, California

Columbus Day Celebrated – U.S.A.

Lost and Found – October 9th Edition

What to remember about October 9th…

    • 1635  Religious dissident Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony; he and his followers go on to found Rhode Island and the 1st Baptist church in America
    • 1701  Collegiate School of Connecticut is chartered in Old Saybrook; later renamed later as Yale University
    • 1888  Washington Monument opens to the public for the 1st time; construction began in 1848
    • 1936  Hoover Dam begins generating electricity for California
    • 1967  Communist rebel and murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara de la Serna is executed by the Bolivian army
    • 2001  Second mailing of letters in the Anthrax Attacks
    • 2009  Awards committee announces that President Barack Hussein Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize

UPDATE:  Due to popular demand, the above pic is now available as a shirt, hat, or button to make it easier to torment the commie-loving hipsters in your life.  Go to cafepress.com to check it out.

Lost and Found – October 8th Edition

What to remember about October 8th…

    • 1861  Fires break out in Chicago, IL, Peshtigo, WI, Holland, MI, and Manistee, MI; hundreds die in Great Chicago Fire; over 1000 in Peshtigo
    • 1862  Confederate invasion of Kentucky is halted by Union troops
    • 1868  Former President Franklin Pierce dies at home in Concord, New Hampshire
    • 1918  U.S. Army Corporal Alvin C. York kills more than 20 German soldiers and captures an additional 132; he will be awarded the Medal of Honor
    • 1919  1st transcontinental air race in the United States begins
    • 1920  American author and futurist Frank Patrick Herbert, Jr. is born; creator of the Dune saga
    • 1967  Cold-blooded murderer and Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is captured by Bolivian army; he will be executed the next day
    • 1969  The Weatherman branch of Students for a Democratic Society stage “Days of Rage” demonstrations; 3 days of violent riots in Chicago
    • 1998  U.S. house of Representatives votes to proceed on impeachment charges against President Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice
    • 2001  Office of Homeland Security begins operations with former Governor Tom Ridge as director

Psychopath. Murderer. Torturer. Communist. Putting his picture on your clothes is like wearing a swastika.

Lost and Found – October 7th Edition

What to remember about October 7th…

    • 1571  Muslim fleet is crushed at Battle of Lepanto; Christian forces halt expansion of the Ottoman Empire
    • 1780  Patriot militia show their strength defeating a British force at Battle of King’s Mountain in North Carolina
    • 1864  Rebel forces under General Lee fail to drive Union troops from their defenses at Battle of Darbytown outside Richmond
    • 1918  Football stunner: Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland college 222-0; Tech carries the ball 978 yards
    • 1944  Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland stage uprising; guards attacked, crematoria blown up, and a massive escape attempt; Nazis execute all they can capture
    • 1985  Palestinian (PLO) muslim terrorists hijack cruise ship Achille Lauro; days-long hostage crisis begins
    • 2001  President George Bush announces that American forces have begun offensive operations in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks; over 40 nations join the effort
    • 2003  Austrian born American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of California in recall election

Lost and Found – October 6th Edition

What to remember about October 6th…

  • 1536  Translator for much of the 1st printed English language Bible, William Tyndale is strangled and burned for heresy
  • 1683  America’s 1st Mennonite settlers arrive aboard Concord; 1st major German emigration to America
  • 1777  British forces capture 2 American forts while moving to support besieged troops at Saratoga
  • 1866  Reno brothers stage 1st train robbery in U.S. history; steal $13,000 in Jackson County, Indiana
  • 1890  Mormon leaders vote to outlaw polygamy in the church
  • 1973  Egypt and Syria launch surprise attack on Israel during Yom Kippur holy day; 4th Arab-Israeli War begins
  • 1981  Libyan sponsored terrorists assassinate Egyptian President Sadat during anniversary observances for Yom Kippur War
  • 1995  Astronomers discover the 1st planet orbiting a Sun-like star outside Earth’s solar system
  • 2010  Green Beret Staff Sergeant Robert James Miller is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008
  • 2012  U.S. Navy commissions guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) honoring 1st Medal of Honor recipient of Afghan War

Lost and Found – October 5th Edition

What to remember about October 5th…

    • 1829  President Chester A. Arthur is born in North Fairfield, Vermont
    • 1864  Confederate forces under General hood fail to sever Union supply lines at Battle of Allatoona
    • 1902  American restaurant entrepreneur Ray Kroc is born; bought out McDonald brothers and took the company global
    • 1945  After 6-months on strike, workers outside Warner Brother’s Studios begin a week of violent clashes with police and non-union employees
    • 1969  Cuban MiG-17 fighter eludes radar to land undetected at Homestead AFB in Florida; pilot defects
    • 1974  American David Kunst completes the 1st around-the-world journey on foot; takes 4 years and 21 pairs of shoes
    • 1982  Johnson & Johnson initiate nationwide recall of Tylenol because of cyanide deaths due to product tampering
    • 1986  American Eugene Hasenfus is captured by Sandinistas after his plane is shot down delivering supplies to Contra rebels; his capture exposes the Iran-Contra affair
    • 2001  Robert Stevens becomes 1st fatality in the 2001 anthrax attacks
    • 2011  American businessman, technological innovator, and co-founder of Apple, Inc. Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs dies of cancer

Lost and Found – October 4th Edition

What to remember about October 4th…

  • 1535  Coverdale Bible is published; the 1st complete and modern English-language translation of the Bible
  • 1777  Though Continental forces lost, Battle of Germantown demonstrates American strategic abilities to potential allies
  • 1822  President Rutherford B. Hayes is born in Delaware, Ohio (d. 1893)
  • 1876  Classes begin at Texas A&M University; 1st public institution of higher education in Texas
  • 1918  Germany sends telegraph a message to President Wilson requesting an armistice with the Allied powers
  • 1927  Sculpting begins on the face of Mount Rushmore
  • 1957  Soviet Union surprises the world by launching the world’s 1st artificial satellite – Sputnik; the “Space Race” begins
  • 1970  Rock-and-roll icon Janis Joplin dies of heroin overdose
  • 1997  Hundreds of thousands of Christian men gather as Promise Keepers hold their Stand in the Gap assembly in Washington, D.C.
  • 2003  Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa, Israel kills 21 and injures 51 more
  • 2004  SpaceShipOne wins the $10 million Ansari X Prise by reaching 100km in altitude twice in a two-week period

Lost and Found – October 3rd Edition

What to remember about October 3rd…

    • 1789  President Washington issues the 1st Presidential proclamation; declares a national day of Thanksgiving be held on November 26th, 1789
    • 1863  President Lincoln proclaims that the 4th Thursday in November the nation would observe a Thanksgiving holiday; in 1939 FDR would move it to 3rd Thursday to encourage shoppers
    • 1895  Stephen Crane’s novel depicting the life of a civil war soldier The Red Badge of Courage is published
    • 1922  Rebecca L. Felton is appointed to the United States Senate, she is the 1st woman to ever hold that office
    • 1942  German scientists launch a V-2 rocket at Peenemünde, Germany; it is the 1st man-made object to reach space
    • 1985  Space shuttle Atlantis makes her maiden voyage into space
    • 1990  Less than a year after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany unite as a single nation
    • 1995  Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson is acquitted of the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman
    • 2008  “O.J.” Simpson is convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in the attack on sports memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong

Lost and Found – October 2nd Edition

What to remember about October 2nd…

    • 1780  British officer John Andre is hanged as a spy for his role on the Benedict Arnold treason plot
    • 1835  1st shots are fired in the Texas Revolution when Mexican army tries to disarm settlers at Gonzales (see flag below)
    • 1919  President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke; he is left nearly incapacitated for the remainder of his term
    • 1950  Charles Shultz publishes the comic strip Peanuts in newspapers for the 1st time
    • 1967  Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the 1st African-American justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
    • 1985  American movie star Rock Hudson dies of AIDS in Beverly Hills, California
    • 2002  John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo open fire in the 1st attack of their 3-week sniper spree in the areas around Washington, D.C.
    • 2006  Charles Roberts takes hostages at Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania; he shoots 10 young girls, killing 5 before taking his own life

“Gonzales Flag” fashioned by settlers determined to resist Mexican attempts to disarm the town