March 31 is the birthday of civil rights and labor activist Cesar Chavez, and is a federal commemorative holiday. He would have turned 94 this year.
In a proclamation from the White House, the Biden administration remembered Chavez as someone who “earned an enduring place in history by standing strong for the rights and dignity of the working people who built and sustained our Nation.”
Chavez, alongside Delores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers labor union. He was born in Yuma, Arizona to a Mexican American family and moved to California. There, he initially helped laborers register to vote, then became more involved with organizing farm workers and ensuring their protections.
“He fasted. He marched. He organized. He stayed true to his convictions, and brought hope to millions for whom hope had often seemed too far away,” the statement from the White House reads, which calls on Americans to observe the day as a “day of service and learning” to “honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden heads to California Wednesday to mark the holiday with an event in Delano.
Chavez died in 1993.