Haymarket: Four people were hung fighting for the 8-hour workday
November 11, 2005 12:09 PM Subscribe
Four anarchist labor organizers were hung on this day in 1887 based entirely on their words.
On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a rally in Haymarket square in Chicago
. One policeman was killed. The rally had been called to protest police violence against strikers who were supporting the 8-hour workday movement.
Police rounded up the city's radical labor organizers and eventually tried eight
for the murder of the policeman at Haymarket. While most of the eight had not even been present at the meeting, the others were shown to have nothing to do with the throwing of the bomb.
After the defense appealed as far as they could, five of the defendants were sentenced to death. One committed suicide
in his cell the day before the execution was to take place. The other four were hung on Nov. 11, 1887, the birthday of their defense lawyer, Capt. Black