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INJUSTICE/CIVIL RIGHTS/SOCIAL JUSTICE: Sacco-Vanzetti

1920 The Sacco-Vanzetti case draws national attention

Fred Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli were shot several times and killed during a mid-afternoon armed robbery of a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts.

Out of this rather unremarkable crime grew one of the most famous trials in American history and a landmark case in forensic crime detection.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested for the murders.

Sacco and Vanzetti were anarchists, believing that social justice would come only through the destruction of governments.

On July 14, 1921, Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty; they were sentenced to death. 

Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in August 1927

For a sizable portion of the American intellectual community their case symbolized the fight for justice for ethnic minorities, the poor, and the politically unorthodox.

The case had a catalytic influence on the subsequent development of leftist thought in America.

In October 1961, and again in March 1983, new investigations were conducted into the matter, but both revealed that Sacco’s revolver was indeed the one that fired the bullet and killed the security guards. On August 23, 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had not received a fair trial.

The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti by Felix Frankfurter/ Atlantic Monthly

Famous American Trials

Radio Broadcast, The Journal for MultiMedia History presents Sacco and Vanzetti in its entirety.

Sacco and Vanzetti. Produced by Curtis Fox, 1998. Part of a radio series, The Past Present: History for Public Radio. Distributed for broadcast to public radio stations in January, 1999.
Sacco and Vanzetti: Part I
The anarchist political circles
of Sacco and Vanetti.
28.8 | 56k
Sacco and Vanzetti: Part II
Immigrants, working-class Americans, and repression.
28.8 56k
Sacco and Vanzetti: Part III
Massachusetts, 1920-21:
arrest, trial, and execution.
28.8 56k

 

 
 

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