City of Edinburg Proclamation Recognizing 50th Anniversary of 1966 Melon Strike March

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As originally published on Edinburg Politics:

Edinburg, UTRGV to serve as sites on Friday, September 9, 2016 for 50th anniversary celebration of 1966 melon strike by Texas farmworkers that resulted in more rights for labor and Hispanics


Edinburg and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, September 9, 2016, will serve as sites for the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1966 melon strike by Texas farmworkers that resulted in more civil rights for labor and Hispanics, and helped ignite the Chicano Movement in Texas.

The event, which is being hosted by the United Farmworkers, will begin at 9 a.m. at the courtyard of the International Trade and Technology Building at the Edinburg university, 1201 West University Drive. At 9:30 a.m., participants will continue with a march to the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard, followed by a program inside the adjacent City Auditorium, located at 415 W. University Drive, beginning at 10 a.m.

The announcement of the upcoming celebration came on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, during the public comment portion of the Edinburg City Council meeting at Edinburg City Hall.

As part of that news, Mayor Richard García and the City Council – Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember J.R. Betancourt, and Councilmember David Torres – unanimously approved a city proclamation recognizing the impact and importance of the 1966 melon strike on the Valley and Texas.

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Texas Standard: Part 1 of Texas UFW series

50 Years Later, Texas Farmworkers Remember Historic Protest

In 1966, laborers marched for two months from Rio Grande City in South Texas to Austin to protest nightmarish working conditions.


NPR: In South Texas, Fair Wages Elude Farmworkers, 50 Years After Historic Strike

npr“If you watch a watermelon harvest you may never think about the pink summery fruit again the same way.

Two pickers walk the rows. They bend over and grab the 20-pound gourds and pitch them to a man perched on the side of a dump truck, who heaves them up to another catcher in the truck bed. The pickers have arms like Popeye and the timing of acrobats. They like this crop because the bigger the melons the more they can earn.”



Caller Times: Path to labor rights is a long walk

“Labor rights are human rights. Never has this been more apparent than in the summer of 1966 when South Texas farm laborers engaged in the simple act of walking to raise awareness of the blood, sweat and tears that were spent providing fruits and vegetables for families. In June 50 years ago, Starr County agricultural workers went on strike in protest of the 40 to 85 cents per hour they were paid (the national minimum wage was $1.25 an hour) to perform this back-breaking work in the South Texas heat for 10 hours each day. Eugene Nelson, recently of the National Farm Workers Association, organized the Independent Workers Association and led the farm workers’ strike.”

Read more here:

Recorded live stream of Corpus Christi Tx UFW Anniversary Celebration