The strange case of the missing Sacco & Vanzetti plaque in the North End of Boston

Until sometime in the 1980s, a plaque to the right of the entrance to 256 Hanover Street in Boston's North End indicated the former site of the offices of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee. The plaque was one of a number of historical markers put up by the City of Boston in 1976 and was located along the Freedom Trail.

This was the text of the plaque:

Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee In may 1920, two Italian immigrants were arrested for the murder of two payroll guards in South Braintree. A group of friends and fellow anarchists organized a defense committee for the accused men, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. For the next seven years the committee struggled to free the two, whose cause became a passionate controversy the world over. In 1925, the committee moved to upstairs rooms at 256 Hanover Street, where the drama intensified. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927, but theirs is "the case that will not die." North End Boston 200

It is uncertain how it was that the plaque disappeared from the wall where it was affixed. Whether it was an act of vandalism or a deliberate attempt to erase the marker that pointed to the martyrdom of Sacco and Vanzetti the fact is that this historical marker has not been replaced in nearly 20 years. Our Commemoration Society then has established as one of its goals to correct this situation and we expect to work with city officials to reset this plaque in place. Below a picture that stand witness to the time when the Sacco and Vanzetti plaque was at 256 Hanover Street.

Enrico Parente, old member of the IWW and Ladies' Garment Worker official pointing to the plaque.