Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of murdering two employees of the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company factory in South Braintree during an armed robbery back in 1920 – a conviction that was upheld by the state Supreme Judicial Court, despite questions about the guilt of the two Italian Immigrants. On August 23, 1927, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed.
Eighty-five years later, the duo remain famous here and around the world. In fact, Sacco has a tie to the town of Stoughton, working in a shoe factory on Park St.
According to the Stoughton History website run by Stoughton historian David Allen Lambert:
"While living in Stoughton Ferdinando Nicola Sacco worked for the Three-K Shoe Factory. He lived in a small bungalow still standing in Stoughton next to the Three-K Shoe Factory (the factory building is currently offices of Re/Max Landmark Realty at 630 Park Street [in] Stoughton)."
Sacco and Vanzetti have been commemorated by former Gov. Michael Dukakis (he issued a State proclamation absolving the both men, according to the Stoughton History website) and the Boston City Council; their alleged victims have been honored with a plaque on Pearl Street in Braintree; and the anarchists have been remembered in film, play and music over the years.
The Boston Globe described their legacy this way in an article published in 2010:
"History has not determined definitively whether the two were convicted and executed based on hard evidence or bias. They were foreigners, draft dodgers, and self-proclaimed anarchists as America was still reeling from the horror of World War I. To this day, some people still believe testimony that might have cleared the pair was never introduced at their trial."
This coming Sunday, Aug. 26, the Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society, founded in 2007, and the Industrial Workers of the World, will hold a ceremony for the immigrants on the Boston Common. A march will start at 3 p.m. and a rally at 4 p.m.