César E. Chávez Biography Timeline
CESAR E. CHAVEZ BIOGRAPHY TIMELINE:
March 31, 1927: César E. Chávez is born on a small farm near
Yuma, Arizona. The homestead of his grandfather in the 1880’s.
Education: Never graduated from high school, and once counted
65 elementary schools that he attended.
1938: Chávez family loses its farm during the Great Depression
and begins following crops as migrant farm-workers.
1944-1945: Chávez serves in the Navy in the Pacific during World
1947: Chávez influenced by his father’s involvement in labor
Issues joined his first union, the National Agricultural Workers
1948: César marries Helen Fabela. They have eight children.
1962: Chávez starts the precursor to the UFW – the National
Farm Workers Association.
Sept. 8, 1965: Filipino grape pickers in Delano, CA. go on
strike for higher wages.
Sept. 16, 1965: Chávez’s union joins the strike against grape
March 17, 1966: Chávez and 70 strikers begin a march on
Sacramento, CA. to drum up support for the union effort.
April 11, 1966: Chávez led group marches to the state
Capitol with the support of as many as 10,000 around the
March 24, 1968: Chávez announces in Los Angeles, CA.
plans for a worldwide boycott of California grapes.
July 1968: More than 100 grape growers and shippers sue
Chávez and the UFW claiming $25 million in losses.
1970: Contract agreements between the UFW and most major
grape growers reached.
1973: Chávez organizes UFW of America union and new
Boycotts begin when grape growers fail to renew contract.
Sept. 21, 1973: The UFW holds its first Constitutional
Convention in Fresno, CA., where 364 delegates represent-
ing 60,000 farm workers gather.
Aug. 21, 1988: Chávez end a 36-day fast to protest pesticide use.
April 23, 1990: Chávez signs agreement with Mexican govern-
ment allowing Mexican farmworkers in the U.S. to provide
medical benefits to their families in Mexico.
Nov. 12, 1990: Mexican President Salinas de Gortari awards
Chávez the Aguila Azteca, the highest civilian award.
April 23, 1993: Chávez dies of natural causes in San Luiz, AZ.
near where he was born.
Aug. 8, 1994: President Bill Clinton awards the U.S. Medal of
freedom posthumously to Chávez.
Sept. 2, 1994: California Gov. Pete Wilson signs the César Chávez
Holiday bill, designating March 21 as a state holiday.