Cesar Chavez speaks at a 1974 United Farm Workers rally in Delano, California. Photo by Joel Levine via Wikipedia

Californians on Thursday will celebrate labor rights leader Cesar Chavez. But how much do you know about the man who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association?

Here are five things you may not know about Cesar Chavez:

  • Chavez attended 38 different schools before dropping out to help support his parents.
  • Chavez was a vegetarian. He onced said, “Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society.”
  • Chavez was offered a Peace Corps job by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 but declined.
  • Chavez was a yogi. The American hero often did headstands.
  • Chavez inspired President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes, we can.” Chavez coined the term “Si, se puede,” which translates to “Yes, it can be done.” Obama later named March 31 after Chavez.

State and local government offices will be closed Thursday for the holiday celebrating Chavez’ birthday. Metropolitan Transit System buses and trolleys, and North County Transit District buses, light rail and trains, will operate on a normal weekday schedule.

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