Ten American states observe Cesar Chavez Day, so we thought it would be a good idea to let you in on everything you need to know about the young commemorative holiday.
What Is Cesar Chavez Day?
Cesar Chaves Day is a commemorative holiday in the U.S. that was proclaimed by President Obama in 2014. On March 31 every year, it celebrates the birth and legacy of Cezar Chavez, a civil rights and labor movement activist.
Chavez, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union). As the head of this organization, Chavez worked tirelessly for decades to improve working conditions and wages for workers while also championing civil rights for Latino Americans.
Ten states recognize Cesar Chavez Day as a holiday.
Arizona: State offices closed
California: State offices and schools closed on march 31. Only state that considers it a state holiday.
Colorado: Declared as an optional holiday on March 31.
Michigan: State offices and schools closed.
Nebraska: Festivals held to honor Cesar Chavez.
Nevada: City of Las Vegas festival held the fourth Saturday in March, founded by Selena Torres.
New Mexico: State offices and schools closed.
Texas: Declared as an optional holiday on March 31.
Utah: State offices and schools closed.
Wisconsin: State offices and schools closed.
President Obama urged Americans to “observe observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”
Who Is Cesar Chavez?
Cesar Chavez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was a Mexican American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the UFW. Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.