WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — Among the changes in the White House Oval Office on the first day of President Joe Biden’s term, was the addition of a bust of California labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez overlooking the Resolute Desk.

The Chavez bust was nestled among a grup of family photos on the table behind the president’s desk, and was noted by California Governor Gavin Newsom in an Instagram post.

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The United Farm Workers union which was formed through the labor efforts of Chavez and fellow civil rights activist Dolores Huerta also acknowledged President Biden’s new Oval Office decor.

The bronze bust of Chavez had been on display in the visitor center of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Kern County was reportedly requested by the president’s transition team.

Among the other changes to the Oval Office ahead of President Biden’s first day on the job included the removal of a portrait of  President Andrew Jackson, who – like President Donald Trump – was elected as a populist outsider.

Trump’s selection of the portrait drew criticism as Jackson was also known for signing the Indian Removal Act which forced Native Americans out of their lands and led to the deaths of thousands. It was replaced with a portrait of Ben Franklin.

Other busts in the Oval Office on display include Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt.


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