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Prize-winning author Studs Terkel heard the aged Lucy Parsons speak during the 1930s. Parsons, widow of Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons, was herself a lifelong political radical. Terkel heard Parsons at Bughouse Square, as Washington Square Park (opposite the Newberry Library on the city's North Side) was called. As Terkel explains, by that time Bughouse Square was a well-established site of free and often colorful speech in Chicago. Terkel was interviewed on July 19, 1999.

In the first segment, Terkel describes the culture of Bughouse Square and his recollection of Lucy Parsons. In the second segment, he talks about what he calls "the ghost of Haymarket," its abiding presence as a cultural event.