Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Today is the 100th anniversary of one of the worst New York City disasters prior to Sept 11 — the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. There are much more horrible images of the event on the Internet, but this blog is not the place for them. The picture above I think does a proper job of showing the scale of the event, and why there was simply no escape for the victims. The disaster marked a turning point for the American labor movement, and rightly so. From here on in, the presumption of criminality would be laid at the feet of the bullies who would imprison their employees, rather than the employees themselves.

There is a play about the fire opening at 59e59 on April 14. Called Triangle, it specifically deals with the relationship between Big Tim Sullivan (crooked New York pol and sometime vaudeville impresario) and a reformer named Margaret Holland. I look forward to checking it out. All the info is here.

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