When researching on the web the Haymarket riots of 1877 the first thing that struck me was that it was also known as “ The Haymarket Tragedy.” This struck me greatly because I thought of it as nothing more than an unsettled labor strike. The book talks about a bomb thrown at the police that killed several police officers and the police shooting four protesters, but this is not what I found on the Internet. I found Information of a massacre. This is astonishing to me, is this one of those things omitted from history books? Is there more to this story than being told?
As I started to search around web sites I noticed many pictures sketched shortly after the riot of people running away of groups of police officers as they where being shot down! One of these pictures had a caption that says, “The police followed retreating anarchist and sent deadly volleys into there midst.” (pg.319 of “History of the Chicago police from the settlement of community to present time” by John J. Flinn) This picture shows far more than four people laying on the ground dead, and a huge grope of people scattering away from a large group of police officers.
Upon further research I found information of a Haymarket monument. This monument is in remembrance of eight people who had died in the riot. This makes me believe that the pictures that I saw where bias and largely over exaggerated. This would make sense because they where probably made to help support the protestors cause of getting an eight hour workday.
Unfortunately there is more to it. After looking at the numbers from four university and library sites I have come to determine that there where somewhere around two-thousand protesters and two-hundred police officers. The officers where in a military style formation when the bomb was thrown into them, from the bomb two officers where killed. This caused a rioting of the crowd and of the police officers. The police immediately started to fir...