May 26th, 2011
Cesar Chavez Home Nominated For National Historic Registry

The patch of land where Cesar Chavez lived coordinated the United Farm Worker movement has been nominated for placement on the National Historic Registry.

The nomination came about during the quarterly meeting of the California Historic Resources Commission, where, according to the Bakersfield Californian, the 9 commissioners

cited the “unquestionable” national historical importance of Chavez’s 187-acre complex in the Tehachapi Mountains between Bakersfield and Mojave where the farm labor and civil rights leader is also buried. On Feb. 21, (U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken) Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis joined 800 farm worker veterans and supporters in dedicating the movement’s “Forty Acres” complex outside Delano as a National Historical Landmark.

The nominated land was Chavez’ center of operations for the last 22 years of his life and is considered the focal point of the farm worker movement. Approval of the nomination may be all but certain; it’s now in the hands of Secretary Salazar and the National Parks Service, who will make the final decision.

The site, and others linked to Chavez and the farm workers movement in California and Arizona will be studied by the National Park Service

in order to evaluate a range of options for preservation and public visitation, and examine ways to use these sites to help tell important aspects of farm labor history.

The study will consider appropriate roles for the park service to preserve these sites and tell these stories.

It’s a far cry from the actions of the San Antonio Conservation Society, in San Antonio, Texas, that asked a state judge to block the naming of a boulevard in Chavez’ honor. Maybe the judge can take a cue from the National Park Service.

Follow Victor Landa on Twitter: @vlanda

[Image Courtesy CCF]

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