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FELICANI, Aldino & Dean ROBERTSON, "The Last Days Remembered: A Compatriot Recalls the Deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927"
Article published on 26 August 2007
last modification on 3 September 2011

by r-c.
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Source: History Matters

Courtesy of Oral History Research Office, Columbia University Libraries

Aldino Felicani: I was the one who broke the news to Sacco and Vanzetti in the death cell that they had to die on August 10th. That was the original date, and then it was postponed to August 22nd. In the meantime [Governor Alvan T.] Fuller had seen the boys in jail. He went to see them. He saw them previous to the decision, while the Lowell Committee was working. I learned from Vanzetti and Sacco that he had visited them. Sacco, as you can surmise, refused to shake hands with Fuller. He didn’t want any part of it. As Fuller was the representative of the capitalist class, and he was the downtrodden. He didn’t have anything to ask him. He didn’t want any grace, any part of it. So he had nothing to say to Fuller at all. He refused to talk.

Vanzetti was the gentle type and so he sat down with Fuller. The next morning I went to see him and Vanzetti told me, “This man will never send us to the chair. He sat down and talked to me like a brother, smiling and joking. That man will never send us to the chair.”

I said, “I don’t know.” I tried to disarm Vanzetti, to destroy his enthusiasm, because I sensed that the worst was coming. I did not want him to delude himself, to think himself in paradise, when actually he was in hell.

Contact Columbia University Libraries for the whole interview

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