“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Soledad in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Cesar Chavez Park

In Commemoration and Appreciation


—Dedicated on March 31, 2008 —

Cesar Chavez Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
1. Cesar Chavez Park Marker
Inscription. "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect of other cultures."
Cesar E. Chavez (1927-1993)

Cesar Chavez was a Mexican American Labor leader & cofounder of the United Farm Worker (UFW). Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona. Cesar was raised in migrant worker camps and left school after 8th grade to work in the fields. He joined the U.S. Navy from 1939-1945.

From 1952 until 1962, Chavez worked for the Community Service Organization and in 1962 Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). They established a union that would provide better field workers better working and living conditions by changing labor laws giving farm workers more rights.

In 1965, Chavez led 2,000 NFWA members on a strike in support of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) to demand better wages for wine-grape pickers in Delano, California. In 1966, he led a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento bringing national attention to the grape pickers strike. Chavez used less conventional methods: he fasted for 25 days to demonstrate the nonviolent philosophy of the unions.

In 1966, the UFW and the AWOC merged creating the United Farm Workers Organizing Committe (UFWOC) becoming an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. In 1968, Cesar called on consumers nationwide to stop
Cesar Chavez Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
2. Cesar Chavez Park and Marker
The marker is mounted on a rock, next to the sign for Cesar Chavez Park.
buying table grapes grown in California. This boycott became one of the most successful in U.S. history and led to many growers signing union contracts in 1970. In 1973, the organization changed its name to the United Farm Workers of America. In 1975, Cesar and his supporters pushed for passage of the California Labor Relation Act. This law, the first of its kind in the United States, guaranteed farm workers in California the right to join unions and bargain as a group. It also protected farm workers from unfair labor practices. Cesar continued to lead more boycotts in the 1980s to rally public support against the use of pesticides.

In 1994, President Clinton posthumously awarded the Cesar Chavez the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian award. In 2000, the State of California declared March 31, Cesar's birthday an official State holiday.

"One of the heroic figures of our time."
Senator Robert F. Kennedy

Erected 2008.
Location. 36° 25.597′ N, 121° 19.741′ W. Marker is in Soledad, California, in Monterey County. Marker is on Front Street south of Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Soledad CA 93960, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Railroad Station Site (within shouting distance of this marker); One Voice Murals Project (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad (approx. 2 miles away); Padre Florencio Ibanez (approx. 2.1 miles away); Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga (approx. 2.1 miles away); The De Anza Expedition in Soledad (approx. 2.1 miles away); Site of Original Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); El Camino Real Bell (approx. 2.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Soledad.
Categories. AgricultureHispanic AmericansLabor Unions
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,023 times since then and 89 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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