Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which nearly 150 garment workers, mostly recent immigrants, were killed. It remains the most deadly industrial accident in New York State history. Most of the deaths can be blamed on the decision by managers to lock many of the exits; inadequate fire escapes also contributed. The aftermath of the fire included the significant strengthening of labor safety laws in New York, and to the increased prominence of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.

The building still stands, just a block from Washington Square.

There’s a commemoration in New York tomorrow. The Times and Wikipedia have more information about the fire. There is also at least one organization devoted to memorializing the fire.

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