Thursday, November 5, 2009


Police charged 7 anarchists with murder. All of them were German immigrants and only one spoke english. Albert Parsons surrendered himself to stand on trial with his comrades. There was absolutely no evidence that any of the 8 men had thrown the bomb into the crowd. All of the defendants had reasonable alabis that explained that they couldn't have thrown the bomb on May 4, 1886. The identities of the bomb-thrower and bomb-manufacturer were never determined. Many claimed that it wasn't only the men who were on trial, but anarchism, and irreligion as well.

The jury decided the fate of the men after only three hours. All 8 men were found guilty of murder. One recieved a fifteen year prison sentence and the other seven were sentenced to death. Petitions for mercy for the men came from all over the country. Requests for mercy even came from overseas.
Four of the defendants were hanged and one commited suicide while waiting to be executed. Two men had their sentenc
es changed to life in prison because they officially requested mercy. These men were later pardoned by Illinois Governor John Altgeld in 1893. The five executed men were thought of as martyrs. Some of the funeral procession was led by a war veteran carrying an American flag draped in black.

The Haymarket Riot crippled America's early labor movement, even though the bombing was not the work of labor union men. The Knights of Labor lost over half of their members. A monument was built in 1899 to honor the fallen policemen. Several bombing attempts have caused the statue to change locations several times.

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