May Day

  • Historian takes another look at the trial of Haymarket ‘anarchists’

    For anyone who observes May 1 from a labor history perspective, there’s a fresh take on the Haymarket Riots of 1886 and the trial that followed.Timothy Messer-Kruse, author of “The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age,” examines the litigation during which several “anarchists” were convicted and later hanged for their roles in a bombing that killed seven police officers in Chicago.For much of the more than 100 years since, said Messer-Kruse, the trial has been portrayed as a sham of justice likely perpetrated to suppress the burgeoning labor movement, which then included support of an eight-hour workday.But if the trial harmed the labor movement, Messer-Kruse said, at least some blame must go to the defense lawyers of the alleged anarchists....