Nicola Sacco, a skilled shoeworker born in 1891, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a fish peddler born in 1888, were arrested on 5 May 1920, for a payroll holdup and murder in South Braintree, Massachusetts. A jury, sitting under Judge Webster Thayer, found the men guilty on 14 July 1921. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on 23 August 1927 after several appeals and the recommendation of a special advisory commission serving the Massachusetts governor. The execution sparked worldwide protests against repression of Italian Americans, immigrants, labor militancy, and radical political beliefs.
From Dictionary of American History, 3E. © 2003 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission. www.cengage.com/permissions
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Yellin, Eric, and Louis Foughin. Dictionary of American History. Edited by Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 7. New York: Gale, 2003.