César Chávez Photo Gallery
A look at the labor leader’s legacy of service
En español | César Chávez, a couple of weeks before his death on April 23, 1993. The civil and labor rights activist founded the National Association of Farm Workers in 1962, which would become the United Farm Workers (UFW) union in 1966.
Robert F. Kennedy sits next to César Chávez (looking very weak after a prolonged hunger strike) during a rally in support of the United Farm Workers union in 1968.
César Chávez (c) talks with grape pickers about the United Farm Workers union on March 1, 1968.
United Farm Workers (UFW) leader César Chávez (r) with UFW vice president Dolores Huerta during a grape pickers' strike on January 1, 1968.
Hands of a grower and a farm worker clasp in the background, as César Chávez (l) of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and John Giumarra Sr., representing 26 of California's largest table grape growers, exchange pens to sign a contract with the UFW on July 29, 1970, in Delano, California. Chávez's UFW has pushed a boycott on table grapes for the past five years. With this signing, the UFW now has contracts with 85 percent of the table grape growers.
César Chávez, founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), takes a break during work on the community garden at UFW headquarters in La Paz, California, in 1975.
The United Farm Workers (UFW) 1,000 Mile March approaches Malibu, California, in the summer of 1975. César Chávez is visible in the second row of marchers. The march was a 59 day trek organized by the UFW, from the Mexican border at San Ysidro to Salinas and then from Sacramento south down the Central Valley to the UFW's La Paz headquarters at Keene, southeast of Bakersfield, California. Tens of thousands of farm workers marched and attended evening rallies to hear Chávez and organize their ranches.
Helen Chávez gives her husband César Chávez a foot rub during a break in the 1,000 Mile March through California during the summer of 1975. The march was a 59 day trek organized by the UFW, from the Mexican border at San Ysidro to Salinas and then from Sacramento south down the Central Valley to the UFW's La Paz headquarters at Keene, southeast of Bakersfield.
In 1978, Labor Secretary Ray Marshall, right, hands a pen to César Chávez, president of the United Farm Workers union, during a ceremony at which the DOL signed a $500,000 contract with Chávez to provide English language training and other services to approximately 1,500 migrant and seasonal farm workers.
UFW president César Chávez, his mother Juana Estrada Chávez, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson at the Mass during which Chávez ended his 36-day Fast for Life, in 1988. Jackson, in solidarity, embarked on his own three-day fast on that day.
Helen Chávez, widow of César Chávez, accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom— awarded posthumously to the labor leader—from President Bill Clinton during a White House ceremony in Washington, D.C. on August 8, 1994.
Ricardo Chávez, 26, the nephew of César Chávez, holds a banner with the picture of César Chávez as he leads a procession in El Paso, Texas, on March 31, 2000, in celebration of the birth date of the civil rights leader.
California Gov. Gray Davis, center, signs into law Senate Bill 984 that creates a new California state holiday honoring United Farm Workers (UFW) founder César E. Chávez, on August 18, 2000. The bill’s author, Sen. Richard G. Polanco, D-Los Angeles, is partially seen behind Davis. At right, Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the UFW.
Paul Chávez, the son of civil rights and farm labor leader César E. Chávez, looks at a replica of the stamp the U.S. Postal Service unveiled in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 23, 2003, the 10th anniversary of Chávez's passing. "It is a proud moment for the Postal Service to pay tribute to this great man who stands as a true American hero," said Benjamin Ocasio, vice president of diversity, U.S. Postal Service.
A man holds a portrait of César Chávez as Los Angeles mayoral run-off candidate Antonio Villaraigosa (l) and Christine Chávez (r), granddaughter of César, walk by in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on March 31, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of farm workers, labor union members, and civic and religious leaders attended the annual Mass honoring the late César E. Chávez, a life-long Catholic and founder of the United Farm Workers union.
The César Chávez medallion is part of The Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway in Washington, D.C., a new national monument dedicated to the spirit of service in America. Honoring heroes of our nation’s service movement, the Extra Mile comprises a series of bronze medallions forming a one-mile walking path just blocks from the White House and features 20 initial honorees whose legacies are enduring social movements that continue to engage and inspire us today.
President Barack Obama, surrounded by the family of César Chávez and leaders of the United Farm Workers, signs a proclamation in the Oval Office designating March 31, 2010, as César Chávez Day. The date would have been Chávez’s 83rd birthday,