The National Park Service submitted an official request to Congress last week to establish a new national park to honor the life of César Chávez and the farm labor movement. 

“César Chávez was one of the most important labor and civil rights leaders of the 20th century, and the Farm Movement he led improved the lives of millions of agricultural workers,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Sites associated with his life and the movement he led are an important part of American history and should be included in the National Park System not only to honor his legacy but also to ensure that future generations learn about what the movement accomplished. I am pleased to transmit these recommendations to Congress for their consideration.”

“César Chávez was at the epicenter of some of the most significant achievements of the Civil Rights and labor movements in our nation’s history and through his leadership, farmworkers achieved unprecedented labor, political and social gains,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said. “Recognizing these sites associated with his leadership of the United Farm Workers as part of a national historical park will ensure that his contributions to the Civil Rights movement will be preserved and shared as an inspiration for future generations.”

Historians from the National Park Service, and California State University, Fullerton looked at about 100 sites to determine the best location and resources related to Chávez and the farm labor movement that warranted park service protection. Their draft report, entitled the César Chávez Special Resource Study,was requested by Congress in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.

The report found recommended using the existing César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene, Calif. as the cornerstone for the new national historical park. The monument was created on October 8, 2012, by President Obama as the 398th unit of the National Park System and includes Chávez’ home and the headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America since the early 1970s when Chávez was its president.

For more information about the possible new national park, check out the César E. Chávez National Monument website.

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