President Obama to Designate César E. Chávez National Monument
Statement by National Trust for Historic Preservation President Stephanie Meeks
Posted October 8, 2012 | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-588-6141
Today, President Obama designated César E. Chávez National Monument through his authority under the Antiquities Act. It was created at the property known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), or La Paz in Keene, Calif. The following is a statement by Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation believes the designation of a César Chávez National Monument is an important first step toward a more comprehensive celebration of the life and legacy of César Chávez and his contributions to the farm labor movement. We applaud the president’s selection of the La Paz property as the national monument. La Paz is one of several historic sites identified by the National Park Service related to César Chávez that depicts an important but underrepresented aspect of our nation’s history. Congress directed the National Park Service to study and recommend protection of César Chávez sites in legislation enacted in 2008.
“We are deeply committed to ensuring sites that reflect and tell the stories of all Americans are preserved for future generations. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the National Park Service and its American Latino Heritage Initiative so that together we may continue to increase the diversity of protected cultural resources. The President’s action is particularly appropriate as it occurs during National Hispanic Heritage Month.”
BACKGROUND ON CÉSAR CHÁVEZ NATIONAL MONUMENT
The La Paz property is recognized worldwide for its historic link to civil rights icon César Estrada Chávez and the farm worker movement. The site served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers (UFW) as well as the home and workplace of César Chávez and his family from the early 1970’s until Chávez’ death in 1993, and includes his grave site which will also be part of the monument.
The National Park Service’s draft César Chávez Special Resource Study also identified the Forty Acres National Historic Landmark (Delano, Calif.); the Filipino Community Hall (Delano, Calif.); the Santa Rita Center (Phoenix, Ariz.); and the 1966 Delano to Sacramento march route as nationally significant and suitable and feasible additions to the NPS system.