Men from Sacco & Vanzetti Trial outside

The Sacco & Vanzetti Trial 100 Years Later: A Historic Perspective and Parallels to Today

June 17, 2021

In 1920, a payroll clerk and his guard were shot to death during an armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree. Two men were accused, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. From May through July of 1921 the two were tried in Dedham and convicted of the murders; they were executed six years later. Italian immigrants, they were also self-proclaimed anarchists. The trial spurred international outrage and condemnation, with claims that their conviction was based on their political ideology and bigotry toward immigrants rather than evidence. A century later, this webinar presented the storyline, historic context, and parallels with the present time.

The DHSM thanks co-organizers John Tocci and Joseph Borsellino as well as the Italian American Citizens Club of Dedham — San Giovanni Battista, the Dedham Human Rights Commission, the Justinians, the Dante Alighieri, the Newton Sons of Italy, The Italian Americans For Indigenous People, and Precinct Chairs in Dedham. And finally, please join me in thanking Amanda Smith, public information officer for the Town of Dedham and the Town for hosting the webinar platform for the evening.

Guest speakers were Appeals Court Justice Peter Agnes (Ret.) and Professor Michele Fazio, University of North Carolina. Joseph Borsellino provided context related to historic trials and John Tocci moderated.

 Listen to the webinar. This is a large file (445 MB) and you may need to download the program rather than watch it directly. Judge Agnes’ portion of the program was shortened for the webinar. Hear Judge Agnes’ entire 60 minute presentation.