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Cesar Chavez was born on a small farm near Yuma Arizona on March 31, 1927. After being forced off their farm during the Depression, Cesar’s family moved to California in 1937 where they became migrant workers. Cesar was 10 years old when he began working in the fields. He was forced to leave school after graduating from the eighth grade in order to help support his family.


In 1945, he fought the good fight against fascism as he joined the U.S. Navy serving in the western Pacific during the end of World War II. In 1948, he married Helen Fabela and raised eight children in East San Jose where he and his wife taught farm workers to read and write so they could become U.S. citizens.


Chavez first became an organizer for the Community Service Organization, a barrio based group in 1952. He became a coordinator for voter registration drives and fought racial and economic discrimination. In September 1965, his 1,200 member organization joined the Filipino members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) strike against Delano area table and wine grape growers. Over 5,000 workers walked off their jobs in the famous “Delano Grape Strike”. The two organizations NFWA and AWOC merged in 1966 to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Commitee.

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday was established by Los Angeles volunteers who organized and led the effort in California that won Cesar Chavez Day, the first legal state holiday and day of service and learning in honor of farm worker leader Cesar E. Chavez.  The legal holiday bill introduced by then State Senator Richard Polanco was signed into law by then Governor Gray Davis on August 18, 2000.


On this day stand volunteer and help others who are in need.