LIFESTYLE

Hundreds mark anniversary of grape strike that led to creation of farmworkers' union

  • FILE - In this April 7, 1966 file photo, grape strikers on a 300-mile march from Delano, Calif., approach their goal, the Capitol in Sacramento.

    FILE - In this April 7, 1966 file photo, grape strikers on a 300-mile march from Delano, Calif., approach their goal, the Capitol in Sacramento.  (AP)

  • FILE - This 1965 file photo shows Cesar Chavez, farm worker labor organizer and leader of the California grape strike, in an office in California works from an office in 1965. About 1,000 people gathered in California on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the labor strike that led to the creation of the nation's first farmworkers' union. The 5-year strike headed by Cesar Chavez led to an international boycott and the creation of United Farm Workers. (AP Photo, George Brich, File)

    FILE - This 1965 file photo shows Cesar Chavez, farm worker labor organizer and leader of the California grape strike, in an office in California works from an office in 1965. About 1,000 people gathered in California on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the labor strike that led to the creation of the nation's first farmworkers' union. The 5-year strike headed by Cesar Chavez led to an international boycott and the creation of United Farm Workers. (AP Photo, George Brich, File)

  • File - In this April 23, 2014, file photo, Silvia Lopez, a farmworker at Gerawan Farming, Inc., poses for a photograph in Fresno, Calif. A judge in California says one of the largest fruit growers in the nation committed unfair labor practices trying to block the United Farm Workers from representing its workers. The judge says Gerawan employee Silvia Lopez was unlawfully paid $20,000 to fund the anti-union fight. The decision says Lopez physically blocked workers from the farm to collect signatures. (AP Photo/Scott Smith, File)

    File - In this April 23, 2014, file photo, Silvia Lopez, a farmworker at Gerawan Farming, Inc., poses for a photograph in Fresno, Calif. A judge in California says one of the largest fruit growers in the nation committed unfair labor practices trying to block the United Farm Workers from representing its workers. The judge says Gerawan employee Silvia Lopez was unlawfully paid $20,000 to fund the anti-union fight. The decision says Lopez physically blocked workers from the farm to collect signatures. (AP Photo/Scott Smith, File)

About 1,000 people gathered in California on Saturday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the labor strike that led to the creation of the nation's first farmworkers' union.

The Fresno Bee reports the event took place in Delano. It was there, on Sept. 8, 1965, that grape pickers walked out to protest against years of poor pay and working conditions. The 5-year strike headed by Cesar Chavez led to an international boycott and the creation of United Farm Workers.

The daylong event included speeches by the union's co-founder, Dolores Huerta, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who returned to the site where his father greeted Chavez during the labor leader's fast to promote nonviolence.

UFW's current president, Arturo Rodriguez, said the strikers inspired generations of social and political activists.

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