Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Feb. 2, 1979: Cesar Chavez speaks to members of the United Farm Workers during a rally in the Imperial Valley. The UFW was striking lettuce growers. During the bitter strike, one UFW striker, Rufino Contreras, was killed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 1, 1979: United Farm Worker strikers await the arrival of Cesar Chavez in a field near El Centro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 1, 1979: Cesar Chavez talking with United Farm Worker members during a lettuce strike in Imperial Valley near El Centro.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 14, 1979: Seated at the Calexico graveside service for slain farm worker Rufino Contraras are UFW president Cesar Chavez and his wife Helen. Contreras was killed on Feb. 10, 1979, during a bitter strike.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / San Diego Union

Feb. 26, 1968: Weakened by a 12-day fast, Cesar Chavez, head of the United Farm Workers, is assisted from the Bakersfield courthouse by union attorney Jerry Cohen, left, and Leroy Chatfield, a union aide. This photo was published in the Feb. 27, 1968, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R.O. Oliver / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

March 10, 1968: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy offers Cesar Chavez some food during a special Mass in Delano attended by 6,000 people. Chavez ended a 25-day fast to promote nonviolence. Helen Chavez, Cesar's wife, is at left.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Jan. 20, 1988: Cesar Chavez holds the short-handled hoe, "symbol of suffering," during a press conference at MacArthur Park to back the labor-led initiative to restore private-sector Cal-OSHA to state control. Prop. 97 in Nov. 1988 passed, requiring the change.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 21, 1988: Cesar Chavez, left, passes a wooden cross to Jesse Jackson during a Mass to end a 36-day Chavez fast protesting the use of pesticides on table grapes. This photo was published in the Aug. 22, 1988, LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Davis / Los Angeles Times

Sep. 15, 1967: Cesar Chavez, director of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, walks the picket line in front of the Ford Moter Co. plant in Pico Rivera in support of striking United Auto Workers. With Chavez is Paul Schrade, UAW western director. This photo was published in the Sept. 16, 1967, L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

March 8, 1979: Cesar Chavez shows the effect of a hectic day in a La Paz office. This image was published in the L.A. Times on March 19, 1979.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times

June 24, 1985: Cesar Chavez leads a march during a grape boycott rally near a supermarket at 3rd Street and Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. This photo published in the June 25, 1985 L.A. Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Monica Almeida / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 7, 1980: Cesar Chavez speaks at the 1980 United Farm Workers political endorsement conference held at Trade Tech College in Los Angeles. The union endorsed Jimmy Carter's presidential reelection bid. This photo was published in the Sept. 8, 1980, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 4, 1988: Cesar Chavez gestures to one of his granddaughters to behave during a Mass in Delano on his 18th day of fasting against the use of certain pesticides.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jose Galvez / Los Angeles Times

April 29, 1993: The funeral procession for Cesar Chavez was estimated to be 35,000 strong and stretched three miles through Delano. Chavez died on April 23.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times

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Remembering Cesar Chavez

March 31 is Cesar Chavez’s birthday and a holiday in California, Colorado and Texas.

When Chavez died on April 23, 1993,  staff writer George Ramos wrote The Times obituary published the next morning. He wrote:

Cesar Chavez, who organized the United Farm Workers union, staged a massive grape boycott in the late 1960s to dramatize the plight of America’s poor farmhands, and later became a Gandhi-like leader to urban Mexican-Americans, was found dead Friday in San Luis, Ariz., police said. He was 66.

Authorities in San Luis, a small farming town on the Mexican border about 25 miles south of Chavez’s native Yuma, said the legendary farm workers’ leader apparently died in his sleep at the home of a family friend.

“He was our Gandhi,” said Democratic state Sen. Art Torres, a prominent Chicano politician from Los Angeles’ Eastside, upon hearing news of Chavez’s death. “He was our Dr. Martin Luther King.

“It’s hard to find people like him who epitomized the spiritual and political goals of a people.”

President Clinton said in Washington, “The labor movement and all Americans have lost a great leader with the death of Cesar Chavez. An inspiring fighter for the cause to which he dedicated his life, Cesar Chavez was an authentic hero to millions of people throughout the world.”

Indeed, to many, America’s quest for equality for its ethnic and racial minorities had largely been framed in terms of black and white. Mexican-Americans, and Latinos in general, were largely ignored by politicians except at election time.

That changed when Chavez, the son of migrant farm workers, became the head of the UFW in 1965…

Check out the full 1993 LA Times Cesar Chavez obituary.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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3 Comments

  1. March 29, 2012, 5:35 pm

    and that's it
    thanks for posting this and allowing me to share

    By: lauramercorillo
  2. March 29, 2012, 7:12 pm

    wow, congratulation there for keeping high the spirit of the post.

    By: lauramercorillo
  3. March 30, 2012, 4:52 am

    Life is but a Journey, and Cesar was the voyager that took us on that journey of hope and struggle. Saludos to him at his rightly placed memory in all of us. Desde Chicago Hermano, Seguimos Adelante.

    By: alexsego@yahoo.com

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