César Chávez Day is observed in the United States on March 31 each year. It celebrates the birthday of César Estrada Chávez and it serves as a tribute to his commitment to social justice and respect for human dignity.
What do people do?
César Chávez Day celebrations are held in many parts of the United States. It is a state holiday in California and an optional holiday in states such as Colorado and Texas but its celebrations go beyond these three states. Other states where celebrations and various activities occur in honor of Dr Chávez include Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska and New Mexico.
Key community leaders use this event to speak to the public about values that Dr Chávez showed in his lifetime and how they made a positive impact on society. Discussions, debates and media attention may focus on issues that Dr Chávez was actively involved with. These issues are relevant to Americans today and center on worker’s rights, fair wages, pension benefits, and medical coverage.
Many schools have classroom activities that focus on Dr Chávez’s achievements, writings and speeches on or close to César Chávez Day. Community and business breakfasts or luncheons are also held to honor Dr Chávez’s achievements and incite hope within American communities.
César Chávez Day is a state holiday in California so government offices, educational institutions and many businesses are closed. State government offices in Colorado may grant requests for César Chávez Day in lieu of another holiday in the same fiscal year. However, government offices must be open. César Chávez Day is an optional state holiday in Texas.
César Chávez was born on March 31 in 1927. He was a migrant farm worker from the age of 10. He became active with the Community Service Organization, which helped fight racial and economic discrimination against Chicano residents.
Dr Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the early 1960s. He focused attention on the plight of migrant farm workers and gained support to have his organization be the first successful farm workers’ union in the United States. He used principles of non-violence, with strikes and boycotts. Dr Chávez remained president of United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO) until his death on April 23, 1993.
Funding for César Chávez Day was temporarily suspended in California around 2004 due to problems with the budget in the state. The courts were divided about the holiday in 2005, where some legal staff workers attended work but the doors to court rooms and filing offices were locked. Current efforts are made to push for César Chávez Day to become a national holiday in the United States.
Many schools, community centers and parks are named after Dr Chávez in the United States. For example, there is the César Chávez Elementary School in San Francisco. There is also a portrait of Dr Chávez in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, as well as a statue of him at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr Chávez is listed in the California Hall of Fame and references have been made about him in songs by well-known musicians. He was also honored with a commemorative postage stamp that the United States Postal Service issued in 2003.
Courtesy of DateandTime.com
Texas Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the state’s independence declaration. It is an annual legal holiday in Texas, in the United States, on March 2. March 2 also marks Texas Flag Day and Sam Houston Day, although these are special observances rather than legal holidays.
What do people do?
Texas Independence Day celebrations are held in many cities and towns throughout the state. The day is celebrated by festivals that include children’s activities, re-enactments, band music, and chili cook-offs. Other activities include story-telling sessions about how Texas won its independence from Mexico and became a republic during the 19th century.
Some state government workers may choose to have a day off on Texas Independence Day as it is a partial staffing day. Many schools have classroom lessons and activities about the Texas Declaration of Independence during this time of the year.
Texas Independence Day is a partial staffing day in Texas however state offices are scheduled to be open on partial staffing holidays. They will not be closed on another day when designated holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday. Those travelling to places where festivals and large-scale celebrations are held may need to check with the relevant authorities about traffic and parking conditions in these areas.
Texas Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. This event marked Texas’ independence from Mexico. Sixty delegates from all over Texas signed the declaration. Its language in many ways parallels the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States, which is observed on Independence Day, also known as “the fourth of July”.
The Republic of Texas was annexed to the US by joint resolution of the US Congress nine years after the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. The US Congress then admitted Texas as a constituent state of the Union on December 29, 1845. Texas Independence Day is an official holiday in Texas. Sam Houston Day is also observed on March 2, marking the birthday of the man who led the Texans to victory over Mexican troops at the battle of San Jacinto.
Texas’ Lone Star flag became the state’s official flag on January 24, 1839. It consists of a rectangle with a width to length ratio of two to three featuring:
- A blue vertical stripe one-third the entire length of the flag wide, and two equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe white, the lower red, each two-thirds the entire length of the flag long.
- A white, regular five-pointed star in the center of the blue stripe, oriented so that one point faces upward, and of such a size that the diameter of a circle passing through the five points of the star is equal to three-fourths the width of the blue stripe.
Texas has various symbols such as the Bluebonnet (state flower), the Northern Mockingbird (state bird), and the horned lizard (state reptile).
State historic sites include the Casa Navarro in San Antonio, Texas. It was the home of Tejano patriot Jose Antonio Navarro, who was influential in the fight for Texas’ independence. Another important site is the San Jacinto Monument in La Porte, Texas, which is built on the actual battleground where Texas won its independence from Mexico.
Note: The above-mentioned symbols and historic sites are only a few mentioned in this article. Texas has more symbols and historic sites throughout the state.
Courtesy of DateandTime.com