Reno César Chávez Day II

March 31, 2003

Si se puede — Desnie Czipka of the U.S. Postal Service, left, with KREN-KUVR TV G.M. Peter Padilla, center, and Laborers' Union Local 169 President Tony Mayorga.

Click here to view the commemorative Reno envelope and hand-cancellation

     HAIL, CÉSAR 2003 — A monthlong celebration of the life of the late labor leader César Chávez concluded on April 24, 2003, in front of the Reno Main Post Office at 2000 Vassar Street as the United States Postal Service unveiled the new César Chávez first class stamp.

Special commemorative cancellations were sold and cake, cookies and refreshments were served. (When's the last time you got a freebie from the post office? Story below.)

     Speakers discussed Chávez's life and its impacts on society which echo down to the present day, a decade after his death.

     Several individuals who knew him personally shared their memories.

     The celebration of César Chávez will become an annual event which promises to get bigger and better with each succeeding year.

     Watch this website for news.

     And get involved.

The kickoff

      KUVR-TV Azteca America and other founding sponsors reinstituted Northern Nevada's César Chávez Day on March 31, 2003. (The first was held on July 15, 1986, when César Chávez came to Reno.)

     The 2003 event honored the Latino labor legend on the date of his birth by highlighting his legacy's lasting power. The commemoration was produced in conjunction with the Washoe County School District and community sponsors.

     The sponsoring stations aired a series of thirty-second vignettes from March 17 through April 20 in all dayparts on Northern Nevada's number one Spanish television station, KUVR-68 / Charter Cable 24 and on (English language) WB Channel 27 / Charter Cable 6.

      Special coverage was provided in advance of the event on Noticiero 68. A César Chávez half-hour special was broadcast at 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on both March 31 and April 1 on KUVR-68 / Charter Cable 24.

      Washoe County students in three grade levels submitted essays on César Chávez in advance. Three winners from each age group read their essays and were recognized at the March 31 event.

     Sponsors presented awards and prizes to essay contest winners. Special guest speakers talked about the impact of César Chávez in their lives and the positive impact César's work has had on our entire population. Desnie Czipka of the United States Postal Service spoke to essay winners and guests about the process of getting a new stamp produced and how César Chávez was selected for such a great honor.

Founding Sponsors

Laborers' International Union Local 169/AFL-CIO
Marina's Travel
Morrison University
Nevada Fitness
Sak 'n' Save
Siena Hotel, Spa & Casino
Sierra Pacific Power Company
United States Postal Service
Washoe County School District
Western Union

In the News

Dolores Huerta Las Vegas interview
Las Vegas CityLife May 1, 2003

Local stamp unveiling honors labor organizer
Reno Gazette-Journal April 25, 2003

Spirit of Chavez lives on — Florida farm workers
engage in 10-day hunger strike at Taco Bell HQ
Labor Notes, April 2003

Nine students honored for essays on Chávez
Reno Gazette-Journal April 1, 2003

Viva La Causa! — Peaceful activism honored
at Reno's first-ever César Chávez Day

Reno News & Review April 3, 2003

UFWA co-founder Dolores Huerta addresses
Las Vegas womens rights forum

Las Vegas CityLife April 10, 2003

Who was César Chávez?

"One of the heroic figures of our time"
                  —Senator Robert F. Kennedy, D-NY

César Estrada Chávez was born March 31, 1927, on a small farm near Yuma, Arizona that his grandfather homesteaded in the 1880's. At age 10, life began as a migrant farm worker when his father lost the land during the Depression.

Si se puede

Together with thousands of displaced families, the Chávez family migrated throughout the Southwest, laboring in fields and vineyards. César left school after the eighth grade to help support his family.

In 1952, César was laboring in apricot orchards outside San Jose when he met Fred Ross, an organizer for the Community Service Organization, a barrio-based self-help group. Within several months, Cesar was a full-time organizer with CSO, coordinating voter registration drives and battling racial and economic discrimination in California and Arizona.

In 1962, César moved his wife and eight children to Delano, California where he founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA).

In September of 1965, César's NFWA, with 1200 member families, joined an AFL-CIO sponsored union in a strike against major Delano area table and wine grape growers forging national support of unions, church groups, students, minorities, and consumers. The two unions merged in 1966 to form the United Farm Workers.

César called for a worldwide grape boycott and by 1975 over 17 million American adults were honoring the grape boycott. It forced growers to support Governor Jerry Brown's collective bargaining law for farm workers, the 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

Read more about César Chávez

César Chávez Model Curriculum

César E. Chávez Foundation — Fight in the Fields, A Film

The FBI X-Files On César Chávez

The Chávez Legacy

UFW Website Biography

Viva César Chávez!Sound clips, pictures, documents and videos.

From the beginning, César Chávez adhered to the principals of non-violence practiced by Mohandas K. Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1965, César conducted a 25-day fast to reaffirm the UFW's commitment to non-violence. The late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, D-NY, flew to Delano to be with him when he ended the fast.

In 1991, César received the Aguila Azteca (The Aztec Eagle), Mexico's highest award presented to people of Mexican heritage who have made major contributions outside of Mexico.

César Chávez passed away on April 23, 1993, at the age of 66. More than 40,000 people participated in his funeral at Delano. He is laid to rest at La Paz in a rose garden at the foot of the hill he often climbed to watch the sun rise.

On August 8, 1994, César E. Chávez became the second Mexican American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. The award was presented posthumously by President Bill Clinton.