History of the White Cane

History of the White Cane

History
In 1921, James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England, became blind following an accident. Because he was feeling uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.   In 1930, Lion George A. Bonham, President of the Peoria Lions Club (Illinois) introduced the idea of using the white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility. The Peoria Lions approved the idea, white canes were made and distributed, and the Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right-of-way to cross the street. News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions clubs throughout the United States, and their visually handicapped friends experimented with the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance…
Read More
Helen Keller Issues Challenge to the Lions Club

Helen Keller Issues Challenge to the Lions Club

History
In 1925, Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then Lions from across the globe have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired. Below is the text of the speech Helen Keller made on that historic day. You can also click here to experience a reinactment of her speech.     June 30, 1925 Dear Lions and Ladies: I suppose you have heard the legend that represents opportunity as a capricious lady, who knocks at every door but once, and if the door isn't opened quickly, she passes on, never to return. And that is as it should be. Lovely, desirable ladies won't wait. You have to go…
Read More