Local News

Friday, Feb 18 2011 11:56 AM

Forty Acres designated a National Historic Landmark

  1. 1 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    UFW legend Dolores Huerta was one of seveal guests speaking at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. The site is located just west of Delano.

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  2. 2 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    U.S. Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar, second from right, speaks at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. From left is, Stephanie Toothman, associate Director for Cultural Resources for the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, Director, National Park Services, congressman Jim Costa, Paul Chavez, Cesar Chavez Foundation, Salazar, and Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    A guest at the Forty Acres dedication holds a copy of the Prayer of the Farm Workers Struggle, written by UFW founder, Cesar Chavez.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    U.S. Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar, right, addresses the media at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark just west of Delano. At left is Paul Chavez, son of the late Cesar Chavez.

    click to expand click to collapse
  5. 5 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    UFW legend Dolores Huerta was one of seveal guests speaking at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. The site is located just west of Delano.

    click to expand click to collapse
  6. 6 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    It was standing room only for the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. Several guests were on hand including U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, congressman Jim Costa, and UFW legend Dolores Huerta.

    click to expand click to collapse
  7. 7 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    The flag of the United farm Workers, present at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark.

    click to expand click to collapse
  8. 8 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    U.S. Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar, right, addresses the media at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark just west of Delano. At left is Paul Chavez, son of the late Cesar Chavez.

    click to expand click to collapse
  9. 9 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    U.S. Department of Interior secretary Ken Salazar, second from right, speaks at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. From left is, Stephanie Toothman, associate Director for Cultural Resources for the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, Director, National Park Services, congressman Jim Costa, Paul Chavez, Cesar Chavez Foundation, Salazar, and Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.

    click to expand click to collapse
  10. 10 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    UFW legend Dolores Huerta was one of seveal guests speaking at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. The site is located just west of Delano.

    click to expand click to collapse
  11. 11 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    The Folklorico group from Robert F. Kennedy high in Delano wait to perform at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on hand for the dedication.

    click to expand click to collapse
  12. 12 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    It was standing room only for the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark. Several guests were on hand including U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, congressman Jim Costa, and UFW legend Dolores Huerta.

    click to expand click to collapse
  13. 13 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    A guest at the Forty Acres dedication holds a copy of the Prayer of the Farm Workers Struggle, written by UFW founder, Cesar Chavez.

    click to expand click to collapse
  14. 14 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    The flag of the United farm Workers, present at the dedication of Forty Acres as a National Historical Landmark.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY COURTENAY EDELHART, Californian staff writer cedelhart@bakersfield.com

"Forty Acres," a 40-acre plot west of Delano where Cesar Chavez planned and executed some of the key milestones of the farm worker movement, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will speak at a dedication ceremony there on Monday, along with representatives of United Farm Workers and other dignitaries.

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How to go

The plaque dedication ceremony for Forty Acres is 10 a.m. Monday at Forty Acres, 1314 Garces Highway at Mettler Road outside Delano. Admission is free.

The site hosts a cooperative gas station were Chavez fasted for 25 days to rededicate the movement to nonviolence in 1968. Sen. Robert Kennedy traveled there to help Chavez break his fast.

The site also is the location of a union hall where, in 1970, Delano-area grape growers signed their first union contracts after years of strikes and grape boycotts.

There's also a retirement village built for elderly and displaced Filipino American farm workers. Chavez fasted there in 1988 to protest pesticide poisoning of farm workers and their children.

Based in Keene, the Cesar Chavez Foundation manages Forty Acres and has operations there. Marc Grossman is the foundation's communications director and was there when those historic union contracts were signed.

"To give you an idea how things have changed, today Delano has two schools named for Cesar Chavez and Robert F. Kennedy," he said. "What a difference."

Members of the Chavez family will be at Monday's ceremony, including Paul Chavez, the activist's son and president of the foundation.

Forty Acres is "not just important to life here in Kern County," he said. "It's important to Latinos everywhere, and to all people who care about other human beings.

"I think it's good for all of us to not take for granted what we have today. To fully appreciate it, you need to know the sacrifices that were made to achieve those gains."

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