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This week in history: Trial of the ‘Chicago 7’ starts

On Sept. 24, 1969, the trial of the infamous ‘Chicago 7’ began. Here’s what coverage from the Chicago Daily News looked like.

Chicago Seven activist Jerry Rubin puts on a wig during a press conference for the conspiracy trail in Chicago, Oct. 17, 1969.
On Sept. 24, 1969, the trial of the Chicago Seven began. Here, Chicago Seven activist Jerry Rubin puts on a wig during a press conference for the conspiracy trail in Chicago, Oct. 17, 1969. Rubin, along with six other individuals, faced charges for inciting to riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Bob Kotalik/Chicago Sun-Times

As reported in the Chicago Daily News, sister publication of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Ever heard of the Battle of Chicago?

That’s how the Chicago Daily News described the riots at that 1968 Democratic National Convention. On Sept. 24, 1969, the paper declared that round two of the battle had begun.

“Eight political activists, who played leading roles in the first round that came to a bloody climax at Michigan and Balbo just over a year ago, went to trial on charges of conspiring to incite riote [sic] at the 1986 Democratic National Convention,” reporter Raymond R. Coffey wrote.

The violence during the convention made national headlines the previous year, and now the “Chicago Seven” — originally eight, later seven — defendants would finally come to trial.

Coffey further set the scene:

“Even as the trial began before U.S. District Judge Julius J. Hoffman, the defendants’ supporters, many of them also veterans of Round One, were demonstrating in the Federal Building Plaza.

“Extra U.S. marshals were on hand and about 30 city police had been deputized as special marshals to keep order in the building.”