Lenape M.S. Spotlight

9th Grade Social Studies Classes

On Tuesday, December 17th, students in Mr. Robinson’s classes held clemency hearings for the Italian-born immigrants and convicted murderers, Sacco and Vanzetti. Students acted as Governor Fuller of Massachusetts and members of the Lowell Committee, as well as witnesses from various groups involved in the legal proceedings (ACLU, Nativists, I.W.W. (unionists), factory owners, anarchists, & Palmer raid agents).

Ultimately, all classes periods did grant clemency, or a reduction of penalty, to Sacco and Vanzetti. However, history’s lesson was quite different. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927 for the crimes of robbery and murder committed in 1920, which they may or may not have committed during a turbulent time in America’s past. Economic, labor, political, social, and racial & religious tensions plagued our nation after World War I, and most familiar with this case agree that these factors affected the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti.