A Sailor's Story: Seaman Cesar Chavez

Seaman Cesar Estrada Chavez was born on March 31, 1927, in Yuma, Arizona.  During the Great Depression, his family lost their ranch, grocery store, and farm, forcing the family to move to California and become migrant farmworkers.

Seaman Cesar Chavez quit school in 1942 to help support the family, joining the U.S. Navy in 1946 with a two-year contract.  Seaman Chavez fulfilled his contract with an honorable discharge in 1948 and returned to farm work until 1952.

In 1952, Seaman Cesar Chavez began pursuing the cause of the Mexican American agricultural worker, organizing the Community Service Organization (CSO), and, in 1962, founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) (later called  United Farm Workers UFW) with Dolores Huerta.

Through the NFWA, he organized and supported strikes for farmworkers, winning concessions in wages and working conditions, including the California Agriculture Labor Relations Act and the ending of the Bracero Program.

Seaman Cesar Chavez was a lifelong supporter of equality and civil rights. He also was a vegan who routinely fasted for health and clarity.

He died on April 23, 1993, buried at the National Chavez Center in California.

Cesar Chavez's achievements earned him the Jefferson award, the Pacem in Terris award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

March 31 has been dedicated to "Cesar Chavez" day.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

Her online photography gallery can be found at shop.takethebackroads.com


Like my page? Please consider supporting my work by visiting my sponsors, my webshop, or by buying me a cup of coffee!