Triangle Fire Centennial

From April ’11 Spotlight:

At approximately 4:30pm on March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan burst into flames. Of the 146 people who died that day, most were young Jewish women, recent immigrants to America. Both of the factory owners were Jewish, and so were many of the labor union leaders (like Rose Schneiderman) and politicians (like Fiorello LaGuardia) who subsequently advocated for workplace reforms in the name of the victims. “A direct genealogical line can be drawn from the fire to the New Deal of the 1930s,” says historian Robert W. Whalen.

Roosevelt University will host a commemorative program on Thursday, April 7. Members of Chicago’s Her Story Theater will perform in a new production of The 9th Floor Door: Blocked Justice of the Triangle Fire written by Artistic Director Mary Bonnett. After the performance, guest speakers will participate in a multidisciplinary panel discussion moderated by Maribeth Anderson (Regional VP of the American Society of Safety Engineers).

Bonnett says her goal is to “emotionally connect [with the victims] on a sensory level.” She wants to “engage a modern audience in a past tragedy, and move them to care about contemporary incidents.”

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. (Students free with current ID.) Registration and refreshments begin at 6pm; the program itself begins at 7pm.

For complete information, click here to download pdf –> 11Apr07Flyer

Or visit the Working Women’s History Project website: http://wwhpchicago.org.

PBS has also produced a new episode of their American Experience series timed to the fire’s centennial. To order on DVD visit: http://www.shoppbs.org.

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