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"Communist Impudence" article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper
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On August 23, 1927, two Italian-born American anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Charlestown, Massachusetts for the murder of a shoe factory payroll agent and a security guard during the robbery of over $15,700 in payroll funds which the factory employees had been transporting. The multiple trials, convictions and executions of Sacco and Vanzetti comprised perhaps the first great political trial of the twentieth century in the United States. The Sacco and Vanzetti trial occurred in the context of nation-wide fears of anarchism, socialism and communism. As is suggested by this editorial, popular opinion about Sacco and Vanzetti was sharply divided. For some, they were martyrs. Sacco and Vanzetti had received an unfair trial by a corrupted judicial system. For many others, Sacco and Vanzetti represented hostile, alien, and violent political ideologies brought to the United States by those who immigrated here. This editorial, for example, has strong nativist tones reflecting a widespread fear of immigrants. Ninety years after their deaths, scholarly opinion is still divided as to whether Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty of the crimes for which they were charged, convicted and executed.
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