ORIGINAL ITEM, MAR. 31, 2:40 P.M.: Cesar Chavez, the late labor leader of the United Farm Workers, would have turned 84 years old today had he not passed away in 1993. To mark the occasion of his birthday, California and nine other states in the union commemorate it as a state holiday. President Barack Obama, whose campaign chants of “Yes We Can” were a translation of the farm-worker movement's slogan “Si Se Puede,” issued a proclamation that March 31 of every year is to be now known as Cesar Chavez Day.
Like any good historical figure, Chavez is remembered in song. The
musical dedication that first comes to mind is the late “Original
Chicano” Lalo Guerrero and his corrido about Cesar Chavez
that was inspired after reading a newspaper account of his 25-day fast
in 1968. The resulting “Corrido de Cesar Chavez” ends with the lines: “Vuela de aqui
de me seno/Paloma, vete a Delano/Y por si acaso no sabes/Alli vive
Cesar Chavez,” or in English, “Fly from my breast/Dove, go to Delano/And if perhaps you don't know/There lives Cesar Chavez.” Guerrero also wrote “Corrido de Delano” to pay homage to the labor struggles in the fields and Chavez's leadership there during the 1960s.
For those seeking to honor the legendary organizer locally, a Cesar
Chavez Day celebration is scheduled to be held from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 2 at the Betsy Ross Park Pavilion (the corner of Walnut and Santa
Ana in Anaheim), The event will feature ballet folklorico and music.