"Forty Acres," a 40-acre plot west of Delano where Cesar Chavez planned and executed some of the key milestones of the farm worker movement, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will speak at a dedication ceremony there on Monday, along with representatives of United Farm Workers and other dignitaries.
The site hosts a cooperative gas station were Chavez fasted for 25 days to rededicate the movement to nonviolence in 1968. Sen. Robert Kennedy traveled there to help Chavez break his fast.
The site also is the location of a union hall where, in 1970, Delano-area grape growers signed their first union contracts after years of strikes and grape boycotts.
There's also a retirement village built for elderly and displaced Filipino American farm workers. Chavez fasted there in 1988 to protest pesticide poisoning of farm workers and their children.
Based in Keene, the Cesar Chavez Foundation manages Forty Acres and has operations there. Marc Grossman is the foundation's communications director and was there when those historic union contracts were signed.
"To give you an idea how things have changed, today Delano has two schools named for Cesar Chavez and Robert F. Kennedy," he said. "What a difference."
Members of the Chavez family will be at Monday's ceremony, including Paul Chavez, the activist's son and president of the foundation.
Forty Acres is "not just important to life here in Kern County," he said. "It's important to Latinos everywhere, and to all people who care about other human beings.
"I think it's good for all of us to not take for granted what we have today. To fully appreciate it, you need to know the sacrifices that were made to achieve those gains."