It was 36 minutes before midnight. Straps of the electric chair in the Massachusetts state prison had been oiled, adjusted, inspected by the executioner. Machine guns had been placed along the prison walls to prevent violence. Radio station WSOM in Manhattan was hooked up ready for the broadcasting of the execution by the Eugene V. Debs Memorial Radio Fund. In adjoining death cells Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Celestino Madeiros† were waiting for a man to slit their trouser legs, make them ready for metal...

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