Obama designates Cesar Chavez National Monument

KEENE, Calif. (AP) — During a campaign swing through California, President Barack Obama established a national monument on the property that was home to Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez and his farmworker movement.

On Monday, Obama designated 105 acres in Keene, Calif., as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument.

The property is known as La Paz, short for Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Lady Queen of Peace.

La Paz served and continues to serve as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America. It was also Chavez's home from the early 1970s until his death in 1993.

The monument includes a visitor center, Chavez's grave site and memorial garden, and Chavez's house where his widow Helen Chavez still lives.

Creation of a national monument at La Paz follows designation of the site in the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield as a national historic site. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the site's designation on the National Register of Historic Places last year.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chavez's founding of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the UFW.

The Chavez monument will be the fourth national monument designated by Obama using the Antiquities Act. He previously designated Virginia's Fort Monroe, California's Fort Ord and Colorado's Chimney Rock as national monuments.