What do you think the Sacco and Vanzetti case shows about America in the 1920s?

1 Answer
Mar 8, 2018

It led to the rise of the Red Scare.


Sacco and Vanzetti were famous Italian communists and supporters of socialism. They were accused in the case of murdering a guard and a paymaster and robbing of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, MA. The evidence against them was slim at best. The jury was no doubt biased against them and favored the prosecution.

This is one example that led to the rise of the Red Scare. The Red Scare was a period of time from the early 1900's to the 1990's, where people were afraid that communism was going to take over. At this point in history, 2 types of government were succeeding; Democracy and Communism. It would take a few decades for people to realize that Democracy is a better way to go.

At first, many people were against Sacco and Vanzetti, but overtime more and more people started to support the theory that they were unjustly accused. On the day of their execution, protests were held around the world in support of Sacco and Vanzetti. Foreign cities such as Tokyo, London, Sáo Paulo, Johannesburg, Sydney, along with others held protests calling for a new investigation into the robbery. Sacco and Vanzetti were still executed in 1927.

In 1925, a convict awaiting murder charges by the name of Celestino Medeiros claimed that he was the one who committed the murders. Medeiros's gang was known for their history of robbing shoe-factories. It was also noted that the gang leader had a "striking resemblance" to Sacco.

Overtime, public opinion started going in favor of Sacco and Vanzetti. Massachusetts Governor and future 1988 Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Dukakis stated that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried.