Kennedy viewed Cesar Chavez as "one.
have been the first to found a successful workers".
and gave hope to many Chicano families that arrived in.
the United States looking for a better life. But upon.
discovering that America wasn't the dream that they.
had imagined it to be, Chavez was able to help these.
people realize some of that dream. Chavez.
revolutionized the labor force and was the recipient.
of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Cesar Estrada Chavez was born on March 31 in 1927, on.
a small farm near Yuma, Arizona. This land was.
homesteaded by his grandfather in the 1880's.
Unfortunately, because of the depression and owing.
$4,080 in back taxes, the Estrada family lost.
possession of their family owned grocery store and.
land. Two years later, they moved to California where.
they joined thousands of other migrant families in the.
fields. Cesar got his first taste of field labor when.
he had to quit school and work because his father was.
in a car accident. .
In 1944, Chavez joined the US Navy but two year was.
discharged and went home to work in the fields. He.
would marry Helen Fabela in 1948. The family then.
moved to San Jose where Cesar worked in a lumber mill.
It is here that Chavez met Father Donald McDonnell, a.
Catholic Priest from San Francisco sent to work with.
the farm laborers. McDonnell introduced Chavez to the.
Church's social doctrines on labor organizing and.
social justice. Chavez began to read papal.
encyclopedias on labor, labor history, the teachings.
of St. Francis of Assisi and Louis Fisher's The Life.
Of Gandhi. All of these works influenced him in his.
philosophical approach to the farm worker movement. .
That same year, he is recruited by Fred Ross, an.
organizer for the Community Service Organization, to.
help to be an organizer for Saul Alinsky's Community.
Service Organization. The CSO sent Chavez, in 1958, to.
Oxnard to confront the bracero program. This program.
was one in which the growers, with the governments.