(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Greenfield, Mass., Aug. 25, 1927.
The height of Communist impudence was reached in the proposal of Sacco-Vanzetti
sympathizers at Boston to parade the bodies of the men just executed at Charlestown
around the country as a centerpiece for red rallies masquerading under the guise
of memorial services. That it was promptly abandoned shows that even in radical
circles there is some appreciation of how far American good nature can be baited
without arousing an indignation which would lead to serious consequences.
The lying-in-state of bodies of men executed for the crime of murder can be
tolerated if it is a part of a funeral service. But extension of such a procedure
into a campaign would be nothing less than an attempt to enthrone criminality.
The corollary to this is the dethronement of law. If the American government
permitted such a challenge to its dignity and authority, it would only be inviting
worse insults from individuals a great majority of whom are aliens sharing in
the privileges of free government without a genuine title to them.
As an example, one of the placard-carriers in the Boston demonstrations was
found by the courts to have resided in America twenty-one years without applying
for citizenship. Asked why he had not done so he said: "I do not believe
in the principles of American government." Here is the sort of person who
is a threat to our peace and order and who it taking dastardly reprisal upon
citizens who do their sworn duty in the jury box. America is indeed a free
country, but its freedom and welcome only extend to men and women of law-abiding
habits who are willing to accept the responsibilities which citizenship imposes.
Whoever is without such desire or intention deserves only a quick return to
the country of his nativity.
Aliens who let years pass without applying for citizenship papers and who take
every opportunity to flout and deride American institutions have exhausted their
welcome. They are here only by courtesy and it is time that this courtesy was
withdrawn in the most flagrant cases. This would have a very wholesome effect
on thousands of others whose enthusiasm for anti-government demonstrations expresses
itself in charging our courts with conspiracy and our officials with political
motives in the suppression of crime and who would try to canonize in their own
peculiar way two men who gloried in being apostles of anarchy.
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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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"Communist Impudence" article in The Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Aug 25, 1927
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 10.0"
| width 2.0"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L06.057
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