John Dos Passos

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John Dos Passos

Sacco and Vanzetti

Dorothy Parker's attraction to political activism can be traced to two events. In August 1927, Parker and other Algonquinites marched in Boston to protest the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian Americans who were arrested, convicted, and executed for robbery and murder. Protests during the seven years of litigation focused on their ignorance of American ways and their avowed anarchism, which may have prevented a fair trial. Sacco was accused of the killing, and Vanzetti was tried as his accomplice.

On the day of the execution, Parker and Edna St. Vincent Millay went to Boston to plead a stay of execution from the governor. Other sympathetic groups marched with placards outside the statehouse where the governor's council was meeting. It is thought that most of the marchers were members of the Communist Party, including Michael Gold, editor of New Masses, and Sender Garlin of the Daily Worker. It is believed that this was Parker's first direct contact with members of the Communist Party.

The police arrived and arrested many of the marchers, including Parker and John Dos Passos. She was fined five dollars for loitering and later told reporters that she had been "treated roughly" by police. After a reprieve, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 3. .[1]

ACLU Member

As at Feb. 8, 1946, John Dos Passos served on the National Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union.[2]

References

  1. Dorothy Parker and the politics of McCarthyism, Theatre History Studies 01-JAN-06
  2. Letter from Ernie Adamson, Chief Counsel, ACLU to Hon. Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1946