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Sculpted Radicals: The Problem of Sacco and Vanzetti in Boston's Public Memory

Stephanie E. Yuhl
The Public Historian
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Spring 2010), pp. 9-30
DOI: 10.1525/tph.2010.32.2.9
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/tph.2010.32.2.9
Page Count: 22
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Sculpted Radicals: The Problem of Sacco and Vanzetti in Boston's Public Memory
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Abstract

Abstract On August 23, 1927, Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for robbery and murder in Massachusetts. This essay examines the echoes of that event in Boston's commemorative landscape as a means to discuss the relationship between official and vernacular expressions of public memory as well as some of the limitations that interpreting ideological radicalism reveals in public historical practice. It examines the history and discourses surrounding the Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial at the Boston Public Library, the Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Day Proclamation (1977), and a 2007 anarchist/radical parade and rally in Boston commemorating the eightieth anniversary of the executions.

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