Labor Leader Cesar Chavez Died April 23, 1993

Amidst all the celebrations of Easter today, March 31, let us not forget to pay homage to the late Labor Leader Cesar Chavez in observance of Cesar Chavez Day, a U.S. federal commemorative holiday, proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2014.

The holiday celebrates the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez on March 31 every year.

His birthday is a federal commemorative holiday in several U.S. states, while many places are named after him, and in 1994 he posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Cesar Chavez was born March 31, 1927, and died April 23, 1993. He was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW).

Americans are urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”

On March 31, 2008, while a senator, Barack Obama endorsed the idea of creating a national holiday in Chavez’s honor: “Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farm workers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he’s taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That’s why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez’s birthday a national holiday. It’s time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union.”

Grassroots organizations continued to urge creation of such a national holiday; and, on March 30, 2011, Obama as president reiterated his support: “Cesar Chavez’s legacy provides lessons from which all Americans can learn.”

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