The Haymarket Riot and
Trial: A Chronology
Union passes a resolution calling for an eight-hour work day.
enacts the nation's first eight-hour law, but employers refuse to
comply and the law is rendered meaningless.
becomes secretary of Chicago's Eight-Hour League.
of Organized Trades and Labor Union declares its goal of having eight
hours constitute a legal day of work, beginning May 1, 1886.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Schnaubelt is arrested.
travels to Waukesha,
intense struggle with a police officer, Lingg is
||Grand jury is
||The Grand jury
begins its examination of witnesses.
||The Grand jury
returns indictments against Albert
Parsons, August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, George Engel,
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
bombthrowing was a direct result of a deliberate conspiracy.
|June 21, 1886
fashion, Parsons willingly surrenders by
walking into court on the first day of the proceedings.
Jury selection begins.
sworn in. The prosecution opens its case.
closes its case; the defense begins its
instructs the jury and it begins deliberations.
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.
denied; the execution date is set for December 3, 1886.
give speeches in court.
appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court for a
writ of error.
|November 25, 1886
||A stay of
execution is granted.
Supreme Court hears the appeal
by the defendants.
Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s
ruling. November 11, 1887 is the date set for
the defense petitions the U.S. Supreme Court
for a writ of error.
Supreme Court denies the writ of error.
||Four bombs are
found in the cell of Louis Lingg.
Association presents a petition with 41,000
signatures from Chicago
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
|November 11, 1887
Fielden, and Engel are hanged at noon.
attend the unveiling of a new monument to the Haymarket martyrs at
Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
|June 26, 1893
Schwab, and Neebe are pardoned by Governor John
Peter Altgeld. The move effectively ends Altgeld's promising
|The Fair Labor
Standards Act makes eight hours a legal days work in the United States.