Museum to revive images of Chicago Seven





A defendant is shown sporting judicial robes and reading in court. Another drawing, shaded in murky brown, depicts a celebrity poet testifying in Sanskrit. A third captures an indignant defendant describing how he was bound and gagged in the courtroom for calling the judge a "fascist" and a "dog."

These images are among 483 courtroom sketches from the 1969-70 Chicago Seven conspiracy trial recently acquired by the Chicago History Museum. The pictures, the work of famed news artist Franklin McMahon, tell the story of one of the more bizarre spectacles in U.S. courtroom history, a trial that reflected the divergence of the youth counterculture of the 1960s from the previous generation.

"The historical significance is that it's one of the first places in a formal setting that you see just how different young people's views were from the generation that they saw themselves up against," said Joy Bivins, a curator at the museum. "That these really critical issues of the Vietnam War, youth counterculture and civil rights all come together in one place is unique."



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