Lupe Marshall confronts police during Memorial Day Massacre. Chicago, USA. 1937.
Lupe Gallardo Marshall was a Mexican-American volunteer social worker affiliated with Jane Addam’s Hull House, a settlement house that provided services to poor urban immigrants. Marshall was conducting research on Mexican workers involvement in Chicago’s organized labor movement. On Memorial Day, Gallardo went to the rally to show her support. Afterwards, she planned to get back to Hull House to lead a theater rehearsal and then relieve the babysitter who was watching her three children. As she described in her testimony to the LaFollette Commission, she instead found herself in the middle of the melee, struck and prodded by police billy clubs and grazed by a bullet. Bleeding, she was shoved into an overcrowded paddy wagon teeming with the injured and mortally wounded, including a man who died with his head on her lap. She tried to offer aid as best she could and, on arriving at a local hospital, helped the overwhelmed nurses and doctors tend to the injured, including a ten-year old boy who had been struck in the heel by a bullet. Gallardo, like a number of others arrested at the rally, was kept for four days in a prison cell, largely incommunicado, before being charged with “conspiracy to commit an illegal act.” In the aftermath of the Massacre, public imagination was captured by newsreel footage and photos of Gallardo, a slight 97 lb. woman clutching a purse in which she kept her research notes, imploring the police in the midst of what she described as a “battlefield.”