Memorial Day for Sacco and Vanzetti | Naming the Days


On April 15, 1920, the paymaster of a shoe manufacturing facility and the guard accompanying him have been shot demise for the payroll they have been carrying. Nicola Sacco, a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a fish peddler, have been arrested for the murders. On Could 31, 1921, their controversial trial started earlier than Decide Webster Thayer of the Massachusetts Superior Court docket.

The 2 Italians had immigrated to america in 1908. The largest strike in opposition to them was that each males have been radical anarchists. Throughout the trial they maintained their innocence. However after an attraction and far pink tape — plus three days of protests by the Industrial Employees of the World, a world labor union — Sacco and Vanzetti have been executed on August 23, 1927.

To this date, some individuals imagine that justice was meted out to those anarchists. Others see them as victims of a prejudiced authorized system and a bungled trial. Many historians who’ve studied the case contend that Sacco and Vanzetti ought to have been granted a second trial. The novelist John Dos Passos, who was lively in efforts to avoid wasting them from the electrical chair, noticed this authorized battle as an indication that america had develop into two nations — one of many wealthy and privileged and one of many poor and powerless.

On the fiftieth anniversary of their execution, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis claimed August 23, 1977 as a memorial day, noting that the 1921 trial had been permeated by prejudice.

To Title This Day …

Religious Observe

Jamal Rahman, a Muslim Sufi interfaith minister, provides this apply for changing into conscious of our prejudices and rising past them:

“A time-honored technique to overcome our prejudices and tame our ego is to develop into conscious of each our ego traits and our divine qualities, and attempt to decrease the previous whereas increasing the latter. Maintain a small pocket book in your pocket and document the ego qualities that you just see your self manifesting in the middle of the day, particularly your biases, prejudices, and stereotyping. Evaluation them every night and categorical gratitude to God in your rising consciousness of those traits that must be diminished. The apply of standard consciousness is sort of a sacred solar that steadily diminishes our shadows.

“Create a ritual of purification and launch of your ego traits. For instance, on the finish of the week you would write down the traits you might have noticed, put the listing in a fireproof bowl, and burn it with a prayer for divine help within the coming week.

“In the identical pocket book, additionally document the divine qualities that you’ve got noticed every day. Maybe you selected to talk the reality, despite the fact that it was inconvenient. Specific gratitude to the Supply for the particular divine qualities flowing by way of you, and pray for them to develop and flourish in your coronary heart. …

“By changing into conscious of your ego traits and divine qualities, it is possible for you to to make decisions that allow you to develop spiritually. You’ll, by grace of Spirit, expertise genuine energy and pleasure.


Folksinger and activist Joan Baez put to music phrases taken from letters by Bartolomeo Vanzetti. As you hear, enable your self to really feel what it’s to be a human being who cares deeply about different human beings.

The photographs and drawings (by Ben Shahn and William Groper) are taken from publications on the time of the case.


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