Infamous Piece of Chicago History Goes on the Block: Gallows
About to be auctioned is the gallows that was built to hang anarchist labor organizers convicted in the Haymarket Affair in the late 19th century. It continued to be used for decades to hang some of Chicago's most infamous criminals.
Since 1977 the gallows has stood in a Wild West theme park run by two history-buff brothers in small-town Union, Ill. Before that it had languished, disassembled, in the basement of Cook County Jail in Chicago.
The gallows would have been destroyed after Cook County discontinued hanging in 1927 if it were not for a fugitive named"Terrible Tommy" O'Connor, who escaped from death row in 1921, four days before his scheduled execution for killing a Chicago policeman. The gallows was preserved so O'Connor's sentence, which specified that he be hanged, could be carried out should he ever resurface. Theories held that O'Connor returned to his native Ireland to fight the British, fled to Mexico or became a Trappist monk. His tale is the basis of the films"The Front Page,""His Girl Friday" and"Switching Channels."
comments powered by Disqus
- Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible
- Parsing Ronald Reagan’s Words for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- Historians make it easy for visitors to DC to understand the history of the Mall
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer