Canes have been used for improved mobility, including by people who are blind or have visual impairments, throughout history.
In the United States, White Cane Safety (or Awareness) Day has been observed every October 15 since 1964.
The white cane may have been used or invented earlier in the twentieth century, but in America it's largely credited to a Lion's club member in Peoria, Illinois in the early 1930s. Abroad, there was a movement in 1931 to make white canes or sticks widely available in France by Guilly d' Herbemont.
Today, the white cane is used in a variety of styles, with options for tips, folding, length, and color patterns.