Nicola Sacco was born in the Southern Itaian small town of Torremaggiore on April 22, 1891. He emigrated to the United States in 1908. Upon arrival he learned the trade of shoe-edge trimming and got a job working at a shoe-company in Milford, MA. He soon married and fathered a son.
Bartolomeo Vanzetti was born on June 11, 1888. The Vanzetti family lived in Northern Italy in the town of Villafalletto. Vanzetti also emigrated to the United States in 1908. He worked as a kitchen helper in NewYork, and after losing his job drifted to Boston where he worked odd jobs and met Sacco.
Sacco and Vanzetti feared the draft during World War I and in objection fled to Mexico with Sacco's family. When the war ended both returned to their homes. After they returned the two became more active in the anarchist community. Vanzetti began reading about industrial society and revolt and both began distributing anarchist and revolutionary literature.
In 1920, the two were charged with robbery of a shoe factory and murder of the paymaster and payroll guard in South Braintree, MA. They were found returning to a vehicle spotted near the scene of the crime; both were armed but claimed that they intended to use the car to distribute anarchist literature. Vanzetti who had already been convicted of a crime was arrested without question.
Their trial lasted six weeks at the end of which, both parties were found guilty. Initially, their trial received little publicity until the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee caused a stir by insinuating that the case was not a legal battle, but an ideological struggle between the jury and Sacco and Vanzetti, who had quite different political views. Ultimately however these claims fell on deaf ears when the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled against Sacco and Vanzetti on April 9th 1927. Sacco and Vanzetti's execution date fell on August 23, 1927. While tens of thousands of people protested outside the doors of Boston's old Charlestown prison, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed by electric chair.