[PAST] Howard Zinn lectures on the Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti

On November 7, 2008, the noted historian and activist Howard Zinn offered a lecture on ?The Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti? at the Dante Alighieri Society Italian Cultural Center, in Cambridge, MA. Nearly 250 people attended the event, sponsored by the Sacco & Vanzetti Commemoration Society (SVCS) and graciously hosted by the Dante Alighieri Society.

Historian Bob D'Attilio started the program with notes about the funeral procession that took place in Boston in August 1927. The procession started in the North End and ended at the Forest Hill Cemetery, where the bodies of Sacco and Vanzetti were cremated. D'Attilio's narration accompanied film footage from the procession. Later on actor and film maker David Rothauser introduced Zinn's lecture with readings from the letters of Sacco and Vanzetti. David Rothauser is the writer/producer of the docudrama, "The Diary of Sacco and Vanzetti" aired on WGBH-TV in 2004 and 2005.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian-born immigrants, workers, and anarchists, who were tried and convicted in 1921 for the armed robbery and murder of two payroll guards. After 7 years of legal appeals and international protest, the two men were finally executed on August 23, 1927 in Boston for a crime that many felt they did not commit and by a judicial system that was patently biased and unjust. In his lecture Howard Zinn explained the relevance of the Sacco and Vanzetti Case for America today.

Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill and eventually received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught as a tenured professor at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received among others, the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award.

Howard Zinn's lecture was one in a planned series of presentations and events in the Sacco and Vanzetti Commmemoration society efforts for raising a monument to Sacco and Vanzetti in Boston?s North End, a bronze bas-relief by the American sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, the same Borglum noted for his iconic sculptures of four American presidents in the hills of South Dakota, we can keep these issues fresh in the minds of our city, our state, and our nation.

Finally, artist Patrick Fiore donated the proceed of sales of prints of his Sacco and Vanzetti portrait to the SVCS. We will provide more information on a separate article.

To see a low definition 35-min Windows media format video of Howard Zinn's lecture click here.