(CNN) – Describing it as a “day that has been a long time coming,” President Barack Obama made modern history Monday by announcing the creation of a monument to honor the late labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

The Cesar E. Chavez National Monument becomes the 398th unit in the National Park Service system, and the first honoring a Latino born later than the 1700s, the Park Service told CNN.

It’s no coincidence the move comes less than a month before Election Day, as the president maintains a strong lead among Latinos. A big turnout among Latino supporters in states where the race is close could help Obama win re-election against GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

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