Memorial Day for Sacco and Vanzetti | Naming the Days

On April 15, 1920, the paymaster of a shoe manufacturing unit 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 towards them was that each males have been radical anarchists. During the trial they maintained their innocence. However after an enchantment and far purple tape — plus three days of protests by the Industrial Staff 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 energetic in efforts to avoid wasting them from the electrical chair, noticed this authorized battle as an indication that america had turn 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 Apply

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

“A time-honored solution to overcome our prejudices and tame our ego is to turn into conscious of each our ego traits and our divine qualities, and attempt to decrease the previous whereas increasing the latter. Hold a small pocket book in your pocket and file 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 to your rising consciousness of those traits that have to be diminished. The apply of standard consciousness is sort of a sacred solar that progressively 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 could have noticed, put the record in a fireproof bowl, and burn it with a prayer for divine help within the coming week.

“In the identical pocket book, additionally file 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 precise divine qualities flowing via you, and pray for them to develop and flourish in your coronary heart. …

“By turning 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 pay attention, permit your self to really feel what it’s to be a human being who cares deeply about different human beings.

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

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