Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30, 1962: The National Farm Workers Association Is Founded

California Grape Pickers Strike on Historic March from Delano to Sacramento, 1969

California Historical Society


On this day, fifty-four years ago, activists/labor leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta cofounded the National Farm Workers Association. Defending unemployed, exploited, and discriminated workers, they organized strikes, boycotts, marches, and rallies—all nonviolent protests demanding improved pay, treatment, and working conditions for farmworkers.


In 1966 the NFWA teamed up with Filipino farmworkers of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and established the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. In 1972, the committee was accepted into the AFL-CIO and was renamed the United Farmworkers Union.

Today, during National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), we honor the men and women who brought national attention to the plight of Hispanic agricultural workers, the issue of social and economic justice, and the cause of Latino American civil rights in our state.

César Chávez (1927–1993)

Courtesy Farmworker Movement Documentation Project, University of California, San Diego


Dolores Huerta (b. 1930)
Courtesy John Kouns, Farmworker Movement Documentation Project

Pickets during the Grape and Lettuce Strike, c. 1970s

Courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library


Striking Grape Pickers Marching from Delano to Sacramento, 1969
California Historical Society 

Chávez Walking with Union Members outside a Safeway Market, date unknown
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Herald-Examiner Collection

United Farmworkers/AFL-CIO Support at a Farmworkers Initiative Proposition 14 Rally, 1976

Courtesy Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego


Shelly Kale

Publications and Strategic Projects Manager



For more about National Hispanic Heritage Month, see


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