Getty / Wireimage / Photo by Bob Riha Jr

Born March 31

Cesar Chavez was one of history's greatest labor leaders, working tirelessly to bring justice to farmworkers. He co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (which later became UFW, the United Farm Workers), organizing widely known actions including the grape boycott of the 1980s that drew attention to toxic pesticides used on the fruit. Chavez popularized the slogan "Si, se puede," or "Yes, we can," later adopted by Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Chavez's legacy is one of a folk hero and a crusader for civil rights. We remember Chavez's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Tejano legend Selena.

1935: Judith Rossner, U.S. author whose novels include "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," is born in New York, New York.

1933: Anita Carter, U.S. singer who was a member of the Carter Sisters, along with her sisters Helen Carter and June Carter Cash, and mother Maybelle Carter, is born in Maces Spring, Virginia.

Carter recorded "Ring of Fire" before Johnny Cash ever did. After hearing Anita’s version, Cash had a dream in which he heard the song with Mexican horns added. He gave Anita's recording a little time, but when it didn't chart, he made his own acclaimed version of the song. Just because "Ring of Fire" didn't chart for Anita, don't worry that her career was a flop. She made it to the top 10 several times – once in collaboration with Waylon Jennings. Read more

 

 

 

1929: Liz Claiborne, Belgian-American fashion designer who co-founded Liz Claiborne Inc., the first Fortune 500 company founded by a woman, is born in Brussels, Belgium.

Her easygoing comfortable designs opened up new possibilities for working women of the 1970s and '80s who didn't want to be confined to stuffy suits. Claiborne designed clothes for women like herself: busy, successful, and always on the go. And as a business woman, she was more than just a success – she was a sensation. Her company was the first led by a woman to crack the Fortune 500, and she single-handedly changed the approach of department stores to fashion by insisting that her designs remain together in one section rather than be separated into pants, blouses, shoes, and so on. Read more

 

 

1928: Gordie Howe, Canadian NHL legend known as "Mr. Hockey" who was one of the greatest players ever, dies at 88.

Howe is widely considered one of the very best hockey players of all time. He helped lead the Red Wings to four Stanley Cups, led the National Hockey League in scoring for six years, and ranked in the top 10 scoring players for 21 consecutive years. His impressive career longevity made him the only NHL player in history to play in five different decades, the 1940s through the 1980s. Read more

 

 

 

1928: Lefty Frizzell, U.S. country singer known for his honky-tonk style, is born in Corsicana, Texas.

His early years of fame were record-breaking. In 1951, he had four songs in the top 10 of the country chart simultaneously, an achievement that stood alone until the Beatles broke the record in 1964 with five songs on the pop chart. Frizzell's career was still going strong when the lads from Liverpool broke that record – in 1964, he cracked the country chart's No. 1 spot with his hit "Saginaw, Michigan." Read more

 

 

 

1927: Cesar Chavez, U.S. labor leader who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, is born in Yuma, Arizona.

1924: Leo Buscaglia, U.S. author and motivational speaker whose best-selling books include "Love," is born in Los Angeles, California.

1922: Richard Kiley, U.S. actor who created the role of Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha" on Broadway, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1916: Lucille Bliss, U.S. voice actress who provided the voice of Smurfette on TV's "The Smurfs," is born in New York, New York.

1914: Octavio Paz, Mexican author who won the 1990 Nobel Prize in literature, is born in Mexico City, Mexico.

1908: Red Norvo, U.S. jazz vibraphonist known as Mr. Swing, is born in Beardstown, Illinois.

1878: Jack Johnson, U.S. boxer who was the first African-American world heavyweight champion, is born in Galveston, Texas.

1732: Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer known as the Father of the Symphony and Father of the String Quartet, is born in Rohrau, Austria.

1685: Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer widely considered one of the greatest composers of all time, is born in Eisenach, Germany.

1596: Rene Descartes, French philosopher considered the Father of Modern Philosophy and known for his statement, "I think, therefore I am," is born in La Haye en Touraine, France.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Tejano legend Selena.