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 Haymarket Martyrs Monument

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Haymarket Martyrs Monument

On May 4th, 1886 labor activists planned a meeting in Chicago's Haymarket Square to protest the killing of a worker by police during a strike for an eight-hour workday. As the meeting was about to end Police Inspector John Bonfield sent in 176 policemen to disperse the crowd although Mayor Carter Harrison had just left the meeting and deemed it peaceful. Someone (unknown to this day) ignited a bomb killing policeman Mathias Degan. The policemen responded by shooting wildly into the fleeing crowd killing four protesters. Six policemen were also killed - most by their wild shooting police brothers. Police then rounded up the organizers of the meeting, since they couldn't find the bomber, and sentenced seven men - August Spies, Adolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Samuel Fielden, and Michael Schwab to hang after a swift, sham of a trial. Another protester, Oscar Neebe was sentenced to 15 years. Louis Lingg killed himself before he could be hanged by biting down on a blasting cap. Fielden and Schwab had their sentences commuted to life on November 10, 1887, but the other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. The five men were buried in a single plot where the Monument, which was dedicated on June 25, 1893, would stand. On June 26, 1893 Governor Altgeld pardoned Neebe, Schwab, and Fielden. Schwab and Neebe, after their deaths, were buried in the plot also. August Spies last words before he was hanged are etched into the base of the monument - "The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today". The deaths made the men martyrs and sparked the organized labor movement.

Bio by: Bobby Hart


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobby Hart
  • Added: 1 Mar 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10545593
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Haymarket Martyrs Monument (unknown–11 Nov 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10545593, citing Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .