History of Cesar Chavez Day

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History of Cesar Chavez Day

Sicily James, Staff Writer

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We all celebrate Cesar Chavez day each year, but not many know the history of the holiday. Cesar Chavez day is a holiday celebrated on March 31st by the state of California to commemorate activist Cesar Chavez and his impact on society

 

Cesar Chavez day is celebrated in many states including California, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

 

Cesar Chavez spent most of his young life as a migrant farm worker with his family. Cesar’s experience as a young migrant worker allowed him to see how the farm workers had been treated he saw the wages and conditions of the workers.  The farm workers had very poor pay. He knew how hard it was and he knew how it felt to be a migrant farm worker because he faced sacrifices too and he wanted to make a change for the better. In 1942, Cesar Chavez had quit grammar school to work full time in the fields.

On September 8, 1965, Cesar Chavez walked out on strike against Delano-area table and wine grape growers protesting years of poor pay and conditions. Chavez insisted the Latino and Filipino strikers work together, sharing the same picket lines, strike kitchens, and union hall. Chavez led a 300-mile march from Delano to Sacramento. The strike lasted more than five years and ended in the 1970s.

 

Many farm workers went into debt because the farms who employed them charged them rent. They weren’t paying the farm workers enough. The farmers treated the farm workers very terrible they didn’t treat them fair the farmers would work all day they didn’t get a water break they were not even able to go to the restroom. A lot of the farm workers had to suffer in rooms with 5-10 people.

 

In 1968, he went on a 25 day sacrificing to starve himself just to get the better for the farm workers. Before Cesar Chavez began his movement, farmers had very little rights. For example, when prices fell, farm workers were pressured produce even more to pay their debts, taxes, and living expenses. In the early 1930s prices dropped so low that many farmers went bankrupt and lost their farms.

Cesar fought until he got what he wanted he sacrificed to get better benefits on the fields, health benefits, wages and better homes for the migrant workers. His strike was a success after all his sacrifices and risk has been through. The farm workers had their payment increased and they had a better lifestyle they were treated fair. Because of Cesar Chavez farmers now have many rights that they didn’t have before. Cesar Chavez day is very important because it’s a day where we show what he had done for the farmers where he’s shown commitment, social justice, and human dignity.