Haymarket Memorial: Chicago, IL

Haymarket MemorialOn this Labor Day, I thought it appropriate to revisit a post I made last year in which I talked about Chicago’s Haymarket Square, often referred to as the birthplace of the labor movement.  Violence broke out here in 1886 at a rally supporting striking workers. The Haymarket Riot, which is also referred to as the Haymarket Affair and the Haymarket Massacre, resulted in several deaths of policemen and civilians, and is still a controversial subject today.

During the riot, a person, unidentified to this day, threw a bomb at police, who then shot their guns into the crowd.  When the smoke cleared, eight policemen were dead, along with an unknown number of civilians.  Eight of the organizers were charged with murder and tried; four of them were eventually executed, even though all the men claimed they did not know who threw the bomb.

The site of the riot was declared a Chicago landmark in 1992 and a plaque was installed in the sidewalk marking the location of the wagon upon which the speaker stood.  In 2004, this bronze sculpture of the speaker’s wagon, created by Mary Brogger, was erected; part of the original plaque can be seen in the lower right corner of the photo.  Another monument, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument in nearby Forest Home Cemetery (formerly known as German Waldheim Cemetery) marks the graves of seven of the men charged; it has been designated a National Historic Landmark.  Both monuments have been vandalized during the years, often with an “A” inside a circle, the symbol for “anarchy.”  Visited April 2010.

Location: The bronze sculpture is located on Desplaines Street between Lake and Randolph streets.  Forest Home Cemetery is bordered by Desplaines Street, the Eisenhower Expressway, Roosevelt Road, and 1st Avenue.

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2 Responses

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  2. Thanks for stopping by! Sorry for the delay in responding — for some reason, your comment was sent to spam and I just now saw it. So glad you enjoy the site and please do continue to visit.

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