Cesar Chavez photos: Look back on the civil rights leader’s legacy

President Joe Biden on Friday tweeted a video calling Cesar Chavez “an inspiration to millions,” including him.

“Chavez instilled in our nation the principle that ‘Our ambition must be broad enough to include the needs of others, for their sakes and for our own,’” Biden said in the video, adding that America has no finer role model than Chavez, while displaying a bust of the labor activist positioned behind his desk in the Oval Office.

In a proclamation declaring March 31 as a federal commemorative holiday for him in 2014, former President Barack Obama called Chavez “one of America’s greatest champions for social justice.”

Twenty years earlier, Bill Clinton presented a posthumous Presidential Medial of Freedom to widow Helen Chavez, on behalf of her late husband’s work. In the citation accompanying America’s highest civilian honor, the President lauded Chavez for having “faced formidable, often violent opposition with dignity and nonviolence. And he was victorious. Cesar Chavez left our world better than he found it, and his legacy inspires us still.”

“He was for his own people a Moses figure,” Clinton said of the man who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later merged with the Larry Itliong-led Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers of America labor union. “The farm workers who labored in the fields and yearned for respect and self-sufficiency pinned their hopes on this remarkable man who, with faith and discipline, soft spoken humility and amazing inner strength, led a very courageous life.”

The citation accompanying the award noted how Chavez was a farm worker from childhood who “possessed a deep, personal understanding of the plight of migrant workers, and he labored all his years to lift their lives.”

Below is a timeline of archival visuals chronicling Chavez achieving his life’s work:

1965: Cesar Chavez, farm worker, labor organizer and leader of the California grape strike, which began September 8, involved a consumer boycott and ended five years later with a historic collective bargaining agreement reached between 26 growers and more than 10,000 workers. (AP Photo, George Brich, File) 
1966: Reverend Eugene J. Boyle, chairman of the San Francisco Archdiocesan Commission on Social Justice, left, joined protesters in Farmersville, California, on a 300-mile journey to Sacramento on March 21. Leaning on cane is United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez. (AP Photo) 
1966: Cesar Chavez, leader of the Delano grape pickers’ strike, waves to the crowd from the steps of the California Capitol in Sacramento on April 11. Chavez led strikers and sympathizers on a 300-mile, 25-day pilgrimage from Delano to the Capitol in an attempt to meet with Governor Jerry Brown on Easter Sunday. (AP Photo) 
1966: Farm workers hoist AFL-CIO leader Cesar Chavez to their shoulders as they celebrate victory over the Teamsters, in the nation’s first agricultural union representation election, on September 1 in Delano, California. (AP Photo) 
1969: United Farm Workers President Cesar Chavez, carrying a sign calling for a boycott of California table grapes and leading about 400 picketers at a Safeway supermarket in Seattle on December 19. (AP Photo/Barry Sweet) 
1970: Cesar Chavez, center, of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, and Lionel Steinberg, a Coachella Valley, California, grape grower, announce a contract agreement, April 1 in Los Angeles. At left is Bishop Joseph F. Donnelly, head of the Bishops’ Committee, which aided negotiations. The agreement is between the Farm Workers Union and three growers who produce a small percentage of California grapes. (AP Photo/Harold Filan) 
1970: Cesar Chavez, who has launched a nationwide lettuce boycott to gain recognition of his ALF-CIO United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, relaxes in a room attached to his headquarters in Salinas on September 19. Chavez’s “salad bowl” strike is a bitter union battle that is pitting grower against grower and Mexican-American against Mexican-American. (AP Photo/Sal Veder) 
1970: Farm labor leader Cesar Chavez is jailed by a judge who says Chavez will stay behind bars until he calls off a nationwide lettuce boycott on December 5. (AP Photo) 
1972: Cesar Chavez, suffering from the effects of a 20-day hunger strike, as he’s wheeled form his Phoenix, Arizona, barrio headquarters to be taken to a hospital on May 31. (AP Photo) 
1972: Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern chats with farm labor leader Cesar Chavez in San Francisco on September 26 at a breakfast hosted by the Northern California Labor Committee for McGovern and vice presidential nominee Sargent Shriver. McGovern told the meeting he was proud to be on the stage with Chavez. (AP Photo) 
1973: United Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez, center, joins pickets outside a supermarket in Miami Beach, Florida, on June 20, protesting the market’s use of non-UFW produce. Chavez had just finished a speech to the Communications Workers of America convention on Miami Beach. (AP Photo/Steve Starr) 

 

1973: Teresa Delgado, three-year-old granddaughter of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, sits with her mother, Sylvia Delgado, during a demonstration in Pontiac, Michigan, on December 4. (AP Photo) 
1975: Cesar Chavez is shown during a rest period at a school on the outskirts of Sacramento during a march on August 1. (AP Photo) 
1979: Cesar Chavez talks to striking Salinas Valley farm workers during a large rally in Salinas on March 7. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) 
1980: Cesar Chavez and presidential candidate, California Gov. Jerry Brown, arrive together at St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for funeral services for labor leader George Meany on Tuesday, January 15. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma) 
1988: Reverend Jesse Jackson, right, visits Cesar Chavez on the 29th day of his fast in Delano, California, on August 14. Chavez began his fast to protest the use of five pesticides on grapes. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) 
1988: United Farm Workers leader Dolores Huerta (center) leads a rally along with Howard Wallace, President of the San Francisco chapter of the UFW (left) and Maria Elena Chavez, 16, the daughter of Cesar Chavez (right) in San Francisco’s Mission District on November 19 as part of a national boycott of what the UFW claims is the dangerous use of pesticides on table grapes. (AP Photo/Court Mast) 
1989: United Farm Workers President Cesar Chavez speaks at a news conference on the steps at City Hall in New York City, Thursday, June 29. Chavez announced that several major New York City supermarket chains will remove California table grapes from their shelves. Standing behind Chavez is Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins and at right is Courtney Kennedy-Ruhe, daughter of late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) 
1989: Labor activist Cesar Chavez, right, speaks through a bullhorn to striking telephone workers outside the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company headquarters in Boston on October 13. (AP Photo/Scott Maguire) 
1991: Cesar Chavez, right, of the United Farm Workers, is greeted by Davis L. Rodgers, of the Watts chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., in the Watts section of Los Angeles on Saturday, May 4. Chavez was the Grand Marshall in the Cinco de Mayo parade in the once largely African American community. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez) 
1993: A band sings union and sacred songs during a rosary for the late United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, at the union’s 40 Acres Hall in Delano, California, on April 24. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) 
1993: Mourners wave the United Farm Workers flag at the start of an all-night candlelight vigil for leader Cesar Chavez at the UFW compound in Delano, California, on Wednesday, April 28. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) 
1993: Mourners file past the open casket of Cesar Chavez a the United Farm Worker’s compound in Delano, California, on Wednesday, April 28. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith) 
1993: Reverend Jesse Jackson (arm in sling) walks alongside former California Gov. Jerry Brown as Brown helps carry the casket of Cesar Chavez in Delano, California, on April 29. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith) 
1994: Washington Post cartoonist Herbert Block, left, applauds as President Bill Clinton awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the widow of Cesar Chavez, Helen Chavez, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, August 8. Clinton awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor to nine Americans, including Block and Chavez, who founded the United Farm Workers union. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson) 
2010: Arturo Rodriguez, left, president of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and Fernando Chavez, right, son of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, exit the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 31, after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama for his signing of a proclamation designating March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images) 
2010: Dolores Huerta, center, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), speaks alongside Arturo Rodriguez, second from left, president of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and sons of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, Fernando Chavez, left, and Paul Chavez, right, outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. ,on March 31. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images) 
2012: President Barack Obama speaks during the announcement of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument to honor the late Latino farm worker and labor and civil rights activist on October 8 in Keene, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) 
2012: People attend an event where President Barack Obama spoke at the establishment of the Chavez National Monument on October 8 in Keene, California. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images) 
2012: President Barack Obama waves after speaking at the establishment of the Chavez National Monument October 8 in Keene, California. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images) 
2012: President Barack Obama speaks during the announcement of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument to honor the late Latino farm worker and labor and civil rights activist on October 8 in Keene, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) 
2021: A sculpted bust of Cesar Chavez is seen with a collection of framed photos on a table as President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration on January 20 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 
2021: Ever Obeso, 8, right, plays on a statue of Cesar E. Chavez as members of the United Farm Workers (UFW) hold a community outreach meeting about COVID-19 vaccinations outside of a school on February 10 in Oxnard, California. The United Farm Workers (UFW) union is urging state and local governments to greater prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for farm workers and perform outreach activities to help workers who often lack technology access to sign up for vaccinations. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images) 
2021: City workers Rodrigo Mora, right, and David Garcia, left, place a memorial plaque on the statue of Cesar Chavez on March 30 in San Fernando, California. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images) 

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Author: Dylan Bouscher, Staff and wire reports

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