In 1886 during a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The police panicked, and in the darkness, many shot at their own men. Eventually, seven policemen died, only one directly accountable to the bomb. Four workers were also killed.
Eight men, representing a cross-section of the labor movement were selected to be tried. On August 20, 1886, the jury reported its verdict of guilty with the death penalty by hanging for seven of the Haymarket Eight, and 15 years of hard labor for Oscar Neebe. The national and worldwide pressure did finally force the Governor to change the sentences of Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab to imprisonment for life. Although 5 of the 8 were still to be hung the next day, on the morning of November 10, Louis Lingg was found in his cell, his head half blown away by a dynamite cap.
Forest Park Illinois is proud to be the final resting place for seven of the eight Haymarket Martyrs. Radicals still choose to be buried alongside the Haymarket Martyrs, referred to as Radical Row, including Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, and Ben Reitman. The Haymarket Martyrs Monument became a National Historic Landmark in 1997,
To celebrate our historical connection to International Labor Day, the Historical Society of Forest Park will present a Sunday afternoon of food, history, music, and fun at Howard Mohr Community Center. Tickets include a buffet of German food with vegan options. Musical performances by Jon Langford and Al Scorch. Presentation by Author Kenneth J. Knack and Peter Cole, Editor of Wobblies of the World.
Both the Howard Mohr Community Center and the Haymarket Martyrs Monument are a short walk from the Forest Park CTA blue line stop. A shuttle bus will be available between the community center and monument.
The following organizations and business will have tables during the event
Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore
Girls Rock Chicago!
League of Women Voters Oak Park-River Forest
Illinois Labor History Society
Artist Rafael Nieves
Sponsored by Revolution Brewery, Kinslahger, and Liquor Warehousemen Union - Local 3