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Labor Day

Haymarket

"City of the big shoulders" was how the white-haired poet put it. Maybe meaning that the shoulders had to get that wide because they had so many bone-deep grudges to settle. The big dark grudge cast by the four standing in white muslin robes, hands cuffed behind, at the gallows’ head. For the hope of the eight-hour day.

The grudge between Grover Cleveland and John Peter Altgeld. The long deep grudges still borne for McCormick the Reaper, for Pullman and Pullman’s Gary. Grudges like heavy hangovers from men and women whose fathers were not yet born when the bomb was thrown, the court was rigged, and the deed was done.

- Nelson Algren, CHICAGO: CITY ON THE MAKE

(Photo: Haymarket Memorial, Desplaines Street, Chicago. Sculpture by Mary Brogger, photo by me.)

September 7, 2015 in History | Permalink

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