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Death Comes for Sacco and Vanzetti Ninety years ago this August, more than 700 law enforcement officers stood guard in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. It was August 22, 1927, and Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were scheduled … Continue reading

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Flowers in the Dark Summer. Time to cultivate one’s garden. Even in prison. “Officials from San Quentin in California to Rikers Island in New York have turned dusty patches into powerful metaphors for rebirth,” the Washington Post reports in a … Continue reading

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam August 23, 1927 Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

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“One White-Hot Mass” It happened fast. In April 1917, within a week of joining its allies to fight what was by then already a two-year-old war against Germany, the United States established the Committee on Public Information—the country’s first-ever effort, … Continue reading

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Renegade

Fred Moore, lead defense attorney for Sacco and Vanzetti, began to politicize their case months before the trial started. He ended up antagonizing almost everyone—the trial judge, the treasurer of the defense committee, even his own clients. And his personal … Continue reading

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“Agent of Death” for Sacco and Vanzetti

Last year the Innocence Project recorded a milestone. A Louisiana man who had been on death row for fifteen years became the three-hundredth wrongfully convicted person to be exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. But science is not infallible. … Continue reading

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Boston’s Other Terrorists?

They were assimilated immigrants, self-radicalized followers of a firebrand philosopher who published bomb-making instructions. So yes, as some have asked: similarities do exist between Sacco and Vanzetti and brothers Tarmelan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Boston Marathon bombing notoriety. Nick Sacco … Continue reading

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Indie Gold

In 1927, in his last known letter, Bartolomeo Vanzetti thanked a supporter for his efforts and asked him to study the Sacco-Vanzetti case so that “our fate may…serve as a tremendous lesson.” In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti is, I … Continue reading

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Six Dollars a Week

Six Dollars a Week The American stories of long-ago immigrants come alive at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on—where else?—New York’s Lower East Side (www.tenement.org). In a gutsy feat of urban archaeology, planners restored 97 Orchard Street to the … Continue reading

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The Pull of the Past I asked: What books influenced you when you were growing up? You replied: Nancy Drew mysteries. “I wanted to be a detective. Now I’m an art historian and art appraiser—an art detective!” Under the Lilacs. … Continue reading

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