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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 09:02 PM
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Cradle of UFW movement earns national honor Video at link.

BY LOUIS MEDINA, Californian staff writer | Wednesday, Nov 19 2008 10:43 PM

Last Updated: Thursday, Nov 20 2008 7:33 AM

Norberto Vargas remembers when working without breaks, water or portable restrooms was the norm for migrant farmworkers in the 1960s.

Then came Csar Chavez and his Forty Acres compound. He purchased the land on Garces Highway and Mettler Avenue just west of Delano in 1966, built it up and established the nations first permanent agricultural labor union, the United Farmworkers of America now the United Farm Workers.

Julianna Osorno is a clerk for the UFW at the Forty Acres regional office in Delano. An enlarged version of the Cesar Chavez stamp graces the entryway to the Forty Acres office.

It was hard and the UFW signed a contract in 1967. Ill never forget that. I was 17 years old, said Vargas, originally from Portugal, who has lived in converted rental housing on the property for about 12 years. We suffered a lot, so I think it should be historic.

Well, as of Oct. 7, it is: The U.S. Department of the Interior declared Forty Acres a National Historic Landmark, only the third such site in Kern County.

The National Historic Landmark Program designates sites that are nationally significant historic places because they possess exceptional and rare value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the U.S., said Holly Bundock, spokeswoman for the the Oakland-based Pacific West Regional Office of the National Park Service.

Thats where we signed the first farmworker contracts in the history of the country, said Chavezs brother, Richard.

FULL story and video at link.

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