“For the first time in California history, Filipino-American labor leader Larry Itliong will be recognized on an annual day honoring the late hero throughout the state.

Though not a name immediately associated with the farm labor movement of the 1960s in California, Itliong was the one who led Cesar Chavez to the picket lines that cemented Chavez’ place in the history books. Unlike the image many remember of Chavez, Itliong sported a crew cut, chewed cigars, loved to gamble, and, because of a work injury in an Alaskan cannery, bore the nickname “Seven Fingers.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill over the summer to establish Itliong’s birthday, Oct. 25, as Larry Itliong Day. Itliong, who died nearly 40 years ago in 1977 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, would have been 102.”