Picture of the Day: August 23 | HistoryNet MENU

Picture of the Day: August 23

6/12/2006 • Picture of the Day


Sacco and Vanzetti Executed
On August 23, 1927, Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco (right) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left), convicted of murder in 1921, were executed in Boston in spite of worldwide protests. On April 15, 1920, a paymaster and his guard at a shoe factory in Braintree, Massachusetts, were killed in a robbery. In the national climate of suspicion of anarchists, communists and foreigners in general, Sacco and Vanzetti, two admitted radicals, were arrested for the crime and convicted on flimsy circumstantial evidence in a trial presided over by the openly prejudiced Judge Webster Thayer. For six years, the two gained support as they attempted to obtain a new trial, but their request was denied even after a convicted killer confessed to the 1920 murders. In April 1927, Judge Thayer sentenced Sacco and Vanzetti to die in the electric chair.

National Archives

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