Chicago in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Site of the Haymarket Tragedy
On the evening of May 4th, 1886, a tragedy of international significance unfolded on this site in Chicago’s Haymarket produce district. An outdoor meeting had been hastily organized by anarchist activists to protest the violent death of workers during a labor lockout the previous day in another area of the city. Spectators gathered in the street as speakers addressed political, social, and labor issues from atop a wagon that stood at the location of this monument. When approximately 175 policemen approached with an order to disperse the meeting, a dynamite bomb was thrown into their ranks.
The identity and affiliation of the person who threw the bomb have never been determined, but his anonymous act had many victims. From the blast and panic that followed, seven policemen and at least four civilian bystanders lost their lives, but victims of the incident were not limited to those who died as a direct result of the bombing. In the aftermath, the people who organized and spoke at the meeting, and others who held unpopular political viewpoints were arrested and unfairly tried, even though
Meeting organizers George Engel and Adolph Fischer, along with speakers August Spies and Albert Parsons were put to death by hanging. Activist Louis Lingg died violently in jail prior to his scheduled execution. Meeting speaker Samuel Fielden, and Oscar Neebe and Michael Schwab were sentenced to prison, but later pardoned in 1893 by Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld, citing the injustices of their trial.
Over the years, the site of the Haymarket bombing has become a powerful symbol for a diverse cross-section of people, ideals and movements. Its significance touches on the issues of free speech, the right of public assembly, organized labor, the fight for the eight-hour workday, law enforcement, justice, anarchy, and the right of every human being to pursue an equitable and prosperous life. For all, it is a poignant lesson in the rewards and consequences inherent in such human pursuits.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Labor Unions. A significant historical date for this entry is May 4, 1904.
Location. 41° 53.094′ N, 87° 38.649′ W. Marker is in Chicago, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is at the intersection of North Desplaines Street and West Couch Place, on the left when traveling south on North Desplaines StreetTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 161 North Desplaines Street, Chicago IL 60661, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chicago & North Western Railway Powerhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the Sauganash Hotel/Wigwam (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wacker Drive (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Post Office (approx. 0.4 miles away); Charles R. Walgreen Sr. (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lincoln's Nomination Site (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sauganash Hotel - Chicago - 1831 (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. Patrick's Church (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chicago.
Also see . . . Haymarket affair - Wikipedia. The Haymarket affair is perhaps one of the 100 most significant events in United States history. (Submitted on September 30, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 30, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 1,311 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 30, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 11. submitted on September 5, 2015. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.