Obama To Establish Cesar Chavez National Monument In California

Civil rights leader Cesar Chavez has had his memory celebrated with a Cesar Chavez day in a handful of states, but now the force behind the Hispanic farm workers movement will have a national remembrance in the form of a national monument.

The L.A. Times reports President Barack Obama will travel to Keene in California’s San Joaquin Valley on October 8 to the property known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz — or in English, Our Lady Queen of Peace — where the Chavez, who founded United Farm Workers, lived from the 1970s until his death. He is interred there as well, and several buildings at the site were pivotal sites in his movement. While there, Obama will announce the creation of The Cesar E. Chavez National Monument.

“Cesar Chavez gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” Obama said in a statement. “La Paz was at the center of some of the most significant civil rights moments in our nation’s history, and by designating it a national monument, Chavez’s legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come.”

UPI reports that The National Chavez Center and related parties have offered to donate some of the land to the federal government for the monument, which has been in the works for some time. It will be the fourth monument created by Obama using the Antiquities Act. The others are Fort Monroe National Monument in Virginia, Fort Ord National Monument in California, and Chimney Rock, located in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado.

Paul F. Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the labor leader’s middle son, said in a statement that his father was an inspiration to all, Latino or not, and that the family is happy his legacy will be immortalized.

“So we are happy,” Chavez said, “that the story of La Paz, which was a spiritual harbor and a place where my dad and thousands of selfless people worked for social justice over the years, will forever be shared with the nation through the National Park Service.”

Ceasar Chavez died in 1993 at the age of 66.

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