Monday, October 8, 2012

Cesar E. Chavez National Monument In California Inaugurated

President Obama inaugurated the César E. Chávez National Monument.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 8, 2012

Keene, CA - On Monday, President Barack H. Obama officially inaugurated a National Monument honoring César Estrada Chávez, leader of the United Farm Workers (UFW) and civil rights advocate under the Antiquities Act. Obama took off from his re-election campaign and stopped at Keene, California for the special occassion where estimated 7,000 people including farmworkers from 25 states attended the inaugural.
Chávez began the UFW along with 150 farmworkers about 50 years ago and seven years later founded La Paz. He lived his last 22 years at the property of UFW headquarters.
The monument will be managed by the U.S. National Park Service and will be built in donated lands known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), which is owned by the Chávez Foundation and the Chávez family. The site in the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersville in Kern County was designated a historic site last year and is the home of the UFW headquarters, legal defense branch of the UFW that also includes the house and resting place for Chávez remains. Chávez passed away in 1993 and was known for his affords to bring awareness to the plight of farm workers in California and was instrumental in changing laws to protect farm workers, fought for their civil rights and was best known for calling a national boycott of grapes. 
Chávez efforts inspired other Hispanics struggling in the U.S. to fight for higher educational opportunities, local and federal government job opportunities, political empowerment and civil rights.

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