Item no. 10005
Painting by Milton Glaser, inspired by a quote from Nicola Sacco, from the Images of Labor poster series.
|Collection: Bread & Roses|
"It is true, that they can execute the body, but they cannot execute the idea which is bound to live."
Nicola Sacco (1891 - 1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian anarchists arrested in 1920 on charges of murder and convicted primarily because immigrant witnesses on their behalf spoke halting English. Widespread doubt about their guilt inspired labor and left organizations across the country and eventually around the world to massive demonstrations on their behalf.
Their execution on August 23, 1927, seemed to many Americans--from working-class radicals to legal scholars--to be the final blow in a series of attacks on the constitutional rights of dissidents in this country that had begun with the 1919 Red Scare.
The quote is from a June 14, 1927 letter Nicola Sacco wrote to Gardner Jackson, member of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee and journalist for the Boston Globe.
Image from the Images of Labor Collection, Bread and Roses, artist Milton Glaser.