Search by Tag
Recent Comments

Virtual nominations Tag

Nominated by Scott Voth.

“Sí, se puede
(Spanish for “Yes, one can”)

Cesar Chavez help found the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962.

He grew up poor – his family owned a grocery store and a ranch, but lost it all in the Great Depression.  They moved to California and became migrate farm workers.  He never made it to high school, but dropped out to work in the fields full time, picking beans, cherries, corn, and grapes.

In 1966, he helped organize the California grape pickers strike, leading the UFW march to Sacramento to protest wages and working conditions.  The strike lasted five years.  Americans were encouraged to boycott California grapes.

He led a number of other boycotts and strikes to gain higher wages for workers.  He would sometimes fast during the strike to express his deep solidarity with the workers.  He was deeply spiritual, committed to nonviolence and a champion of civil rights.

The following video further explains my respect for Cesar Chavez and shows why he should be nominated to the BCC Virtual Hall of Fame:



cc licensed image "Sacagewea" by flicker user J. Stephen Conn

cc-licensed image “Sacagawea” by Flickr user J. Stephen Conn

Originally nominated to the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, but not elected, Sacagawea was an Indian woman guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition whose “courage and tact in dealing with unfriendly Indians” saved the expedition from disaster.

She was from the Shoshoni tribe, and lived in Idaho until she was captured at age 10 by a roving band of Hidatsa Indians and taken to North Dakota and eventually sold to a French-Canadian fur trader named Toussaint Charbonneau.  Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as a guide, but made it clear that they wanted Sacagawea to assist as a translator and negotiator.  Sacagawea had just given birth to a son, Jean Baptiste, and she carried him in a papoose on the long journey to the Oregon coast.  Her knowledge of the terrain was invaluable to the success of the expedition.

“Clark was so taken with Sacajawea, and so concerned about her welfare at the hands of the abusive and wife-beating Charbonneau, that he proposed taking the infant boy to St. Louis to be raised in safety. For her efforts in making the expedition successful, Lewis & Clark named a river “Sacajawea” in her honor.”

Many monuments have been erected to honor Sacagawea, and it is wonderful that she was nominated to be in the Hall of Great American, but I wonder why she was not ultimately elected.  Was it because she was a native American?  Was it because she was a woman?