1977 August 23

Massachusetts Governor Dukakis Declares Sacco and Vanzetti Day


On the 50th anniversary of the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis declared this day “Sacco and Vanzetti Day.” The two men were Italian immigrants who were also anarchists. They were arrested for a murder in Braintree, Massachusetts, on April 15, 1920. Their case became one of the most important civil liberties causes of the 1920s, as many people believed they were unfairly tried and convicted because of anti-immigrant and anti-radical bias. Their execution, on August 23, 1927, was marked by demonstrations in the U.S. and around the world.

The case has never died, and a number of books have continued to reexamine the evidence and re-argue the case. Governor Dukakis did not, however, pardon them, as many people had urged him to do. His proclamation was issued in both English and Italian.

Read: Bruce Watson, Sacco and Vanzetti, The Men, The Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind (2007)

Learn more about the trial: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/SaccoV/SaccoV.htm

Hear Woody Guthrie sing Two Good Menhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmlvGCtKsxA

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