Cesar Chavez Day – March 31, 2024

By Christine J. Flores, CBA

Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated every year on March 31, to celebrate the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez.  In California state offices and schools will be closed on that day.  It is considered a formal holiday in Arizona, Washington, and Utah.  It is an optional holiday in Colorado and Texas.  It is considered a festival day in Nebraska and Nevada.  Currently, there is an obstacle preventing Cesar Chavez Day from becoming a national holiday as there is a rule in Congress preventing bills with national holiday provisions from being introduced.

Cesar Chavez was born on March 31, 1927.  He was a migrant farm worker from the age of 10.  He went on to become a labor leader and civil rights activist.  Along with Dolores Huerta, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became known as the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).  Americans are encouraged to “regard this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”  (Presidential Proclamation-Cesar Chavez Day March 30, 2011)

On March 31, 2008, while a senator, President Barack Obama endorsed the idea of creating a national holiday in Chavez’s honor.  On March 18, 2014, President Obama used his authority to proclaim March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day. 

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