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California road sign honors braceros killed 50 years ago

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A portion of U.S. 101 has been dedicated to 59 braceros who died in a bus accident in 1963.

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — A sign has gone up dedicating a stretch of U.S. 101 in the Salinas Valley to the 32 farmworkers who died in a horrific crash five decades ago.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/1dkqSjU ) the sign for the Bracero Memorial Highway in Chualar pays tribute to the victims who were mostly part of the braceros program that brought guest workers from Mexico to the United States between 1942 to 1964.

On Sept. 17, 1963, a freight train collided with a bus transporting 59 celery pickers on the highway, killing 32 people. It was considered the worst traffic-related calamity in California history.

The sign, which was unveiled Saturday at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, memorializes the victims and honors the manual laborers who participated in the bracero program.

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