McCain in Chávez's corner when it comes to historic site
If US Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona were elected president, he might wield more influence than he already does in honoring the late Mexican-American farm worker and labor leader César Chávez. Chávez long championed the cause of migrant workers, once leading a boycott of California grape-growers to leverage a union contract. In 1994, President Clinton posthumously awarded Chávez the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. In recent years, McCain has led the Capitol Hill charge to have the government study potential historic sites in Chávez's life. Another lawmaker has attempted to create a national holiday in his honor. So far, eight states have officially recognized his achievements, including California, which has celebrated César Chávez Day on March 31 since 1999. Some notable milestones in Chávez's life, by year:
• 1942: quits grammar school to work full time in the fields
• 1952: cofounds the National Farm Workers Association in Delano, Calif.
• 1965: leads strike against grape- growers that lasts five years
• 1968: goes on 24-day fast that brings attention to nonviolent tactics of the farm workers' movement
• 1972: organizes nationwide lettuce boycott
• 1975: helps win passage of a law giving farm workers the right to boycott and to collective bargaining