Speaker: Rethinking the Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists

Monday, February 25, 2013
12:00 PM
McQuade Law Auditorium
Event Type
College of Law

The University of Toledo College of Law presents: 

Professor Timothy Messer-Kruse

School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Bowling Green State University

Rethinking the Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists


On May 4, 1886, a labor rally in Chicago turned deadly when a bomb was thrown at police officers. The subsequent trial of eight Chicago anarchists for the death of patrolman Mathias Degan was one of the most followed and controversial trials of the Gilded Age. For more than a century afterwards historians have characterized the Haymarket Trial as amounting to little more than a show trial, with a biased judge, illegally obtained evidence, perjured testimony, and a hand-picked jury.

Messer-Kruse has written two recent books – The Haymarket Trial: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age and The Haymarket Conspiracy: Transatlantic Anarchist Networks debunking many of the longstanding myths surrounding this famous event. The former title was named the "Best Labor History Book of 2012" by the journal Labor History and awarded its annual book prize.

In his lecture, Messer-Kruse will reexamine the procedures, contemporary standards, and evidence of the landmark Haymarket Trial. He will also discuss his unlikely battle to edit the Wikipedia page on the subject, a story he has shared with media outlets such as NPR and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Pizza will be provided. Free and open to the public.





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