The Haymarket Riot and Trial: A Chronology

National Labor Union passes a resolution calling for an eight-hour work day.
Illinois enacts the nation's first eight-hour law, but employers refuse to comply and the law is rendered meaningless.
Albert Parsons becomes secretary of Chicago's Eight-Hour League.
October 1884
The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Union declares its goal of having eight hours constitute a legal day of work, beginning May 1, 1886.
April 1886 American laborers rally and lobby in support of an eight-hour work day with no reduction in pay.  In Chicago, nearly 50,000 workers win such this concession from employers.  The Chicago City Council, with the support of Mayor Harrison, approves an eight-hour work day for city employees.
May 1, 1886 100,000 American workers go on strike in support of the eight-hour workday.  The strike day ends peacefully in Chicago, where German anarchists toast their "Emancipation Day."
May 3, 1886 While Spies speaks, police attack demonstrators with clubs and bullets at McCormick’s Reaper Works.  Spies writes a circular (the “Revenge Circular”) urging a militant response to the death of "six brothers."  In the evening, 8-hour leaders meet at Grief's Hall to discuss strategy.  Prosecutors will later describe this meeting, attended by Engel and Fischer, the "Monday Night Conspiracy." 
May 4, 1886 Louis Lingg and William Seliger make 30 to 50 bombs.  They later transport them to Nepf’s Hall....At 7:30 PM, a rally to protest the violent attack on demonstrators at McCormicks and support the eight-hour day begins at Haymarket in Chicago.  At 8:15, August Spies arrives at the rally.  At 8:30, Albert Parsons arrives at the meeting of the American Group.  A half hour later, he begins speaking at the Haymarket.  He speaks for about an hour, and then leaves for Zepf's Hall.  Samuel Fielden begins speaking about 10 PM.  About 10:20, police demand that the Haymarket rally promptly end.  As Fielden steps down from the speaker's wagon, a bomb is thrown into the ranks of the police, fatally injuring several.  Officer Degan is the first to die.  After hearing of the violence at Haymarket, Parsons boards a train for Geneva, Illinois.
May 5, 1886 August Spies, Henry Spies, Lizzie Holmesand Michael Schwab are arrested at the office of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, as the police raid the newspaper.  Elsewhere, police arrest Adolph Fischer, Gerhard Lizius, Herman Pudewa, Lucy Parsons, Sarah Ames, and Samuel Fielden..... In response to the Haymarket Riot, Mayor Harrison proclaims that all public gatherings are now illegal.
May 7, 1886 Rudolph Schnaubelt is arrested.
May 7-10, 1886 Parsons travels to Waukesha, Wisconsin.
May 14, 1886 After an intense struggle with a police officer, Lingg is arrested.
May 17, 1886 Grand jury is called.
May 18, 1886 The Grand jury begins its examination of witnesses.
May 27, 1886 The Grand jury returns indictments against Albert Parsons, August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, Oscar Neebe, Louis Lingg, William Seliger, and Rudolph Schnaubelt.  They are charged with the murder of Officer Degan.
June 5, 1886 The Grand Jury issues its report to Judge Rogers.  The grand jury concludes that the bombthrowing was a direct result of a deliberate conspiracy.
June 21, 1886 In dramatic fashion, Parsons willingly surrenders by walking into court on the first day of the proceedings.  Jury selection begins.
July 15, 1886 Jurors are sworn in.  The prosecution opens its case.
July 31, 1886 The state closes its case;  the defense begins its case.
August 19, 1886 Judge Gary instructs the jury and it begins deliberations.
August 20, 1886 Jury delivers its verdict of guilty for the 8 defendants.  All defendants, except Neebe, are sentenced to receive the death penalty.  Neebe is sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
October 7, 1886 Appeal is denied;  the execution date is set for December 3, 1886.
October 7-9, 1886 The defendants give speeches in court. 
November 2, 1886 The defendants appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court for a writ of error.
November 25, 1886 A stay of execution is granted.
March 1887 The Illinois Supreme Court hears the appeal by the defendants.
September 14, 1887 The Illinois Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s ruling.  November 11, 1887 is the date set for the defendants’ execution.
October 27, 1887 Counsel for the defense petitions the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of error.
November 2, 1887 The U.S. Supreme Court denies the writ of error.
November 6, 1887 Four bombs are found in the cell of Louis Lingg.
November 9, 1887 The Amnesty Association presents a petition with 41,000 signatures from Chicago residents.
November 10, 1887 Governor Oglesby announces he is commuting the sentences of Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab to life sentences.  Lingg commits suicide in his cell, by biting on a dynamite cap.
November 11, 1887 Spies, Parson, Fielden, and Engel are hanged at noon.
June 25, 1893 Thousands attend the unveiling of a new monument to the Haymarket martyrs at Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
June 26, 1893 Fielden, Schwab, and Neebe are pardoned by Governor John Peter Altgeld.  The move effectively ends Altgeld's promising political career.
The Fair Labor Standards Act makes eight hours a legal days work in the United States.