“Ask members of the Filipino American National Historical Society and they will say the Delano Grape strike of 1965 — the grape boycott that neatly tied together civil rights and labor rights in America—should be known as the revolution of Larry Itliong.
Instead, the strike that changed the world’s view on farm labor is more commonly known in history as the movement that made Cesar Chavez an international labor hero.
To mark 50 years since the week after the strike vote by Filipinos (Sept. 7th), and their bold first step to walk off the fields (Sept. 8), nearly 500 people gathered Labor Day weekend in Delano in California’s Central Valley to try and correct the record on Itliong and Chavez.”
“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.”