The Long Good-bye
Independently of the official Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee the
Party carried on a campaign of its own, agitating and collecting funds
through the International Labor Defense. Hundreds of meetings were
held, gigantic demonstrations organized, the Party contributing greatly
toward the extension of the movement to Europe. Yet the Sacco-
Vanzetti Committee had the temerity to complain that the funds we
collected for the Sacco-Vanzetti cause were never turned over to it.
The complaint was true, of course, and could be easily substantiated.
Some of the money went to the Daily Worker, which financially has
always been a bottomless pit, and the rest was spent on campaigning
to enhance the prestige of the Party.1
—Benjamin Gitlow, Communist Party candidate for
Vice President of the United States in 1924 and 1928
Once again, the quaint, elm-shaded, sun-dappled square of Dedham was swamped with children, newspaper reporters, photographers, state troopers, spectators, and a collection of the morbidly curious. This time, unlike in 1921, a new species of news media communicators—newsreel photographers— joined the lengthening queue. Nevertheless, reporters noticed that Judge Thayer had visibly aged. Appearing frail, his jaundiced face jutted sharply above a starched white collar and black judicial robe. Filing into court, Sacco and Vanzetti also had the chalky pallor of men who had spent many years deprived of sunlight.
Both defendants accepted the opportunity to address the court. In “absolute silence” Nicola Sacco began, noting that he had “never heard,