November 11, 1887: The Haymarket Affair bombers, August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel are executed. The Haymarket affair a/k/a the “Haymarket Massacre” and “Haymarket Riot” was a bombing that occurred at a labor demonstration on May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. The Country wide demonstration was supposed to be a peaceful rally for striking workers seeking the implementation of an Eight Hour Work Day. However, the day before the bombing in Chicago, a clash with police resulted in the shooting deaths of two protesters. The next day, an unidentified person threw a dynamite bomb at the Police as they were attempting to disperse the rally. The explosion and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and four civilians with dozens of others wounded.
In June 1886, eight suspects were indicted by the grand jury as accessories to Murder. However, only two were actually present when the bomb exploded. In a much publicized trial the eight men were convicted of conspiracy despite the Prosecutions failure to prove who actually built the bomb or who actually threw it. The Prosecutor argued that because the Defendants had not actively discouraged the person who had thrown the bomb, then they were equally responsible for murder as conspirators.
Of the eight, seven were sentenced to death, one to 15 years in prison. The Illinois Governor commuted two of the Defendants sentences to life in prison, another committed suicide while in prison. The remaining four were executed by hanging.