Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire, 100 years later

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What our visitors are saying...

Thank you so much for this incredible resource and for keeping alive the memory of those young women and men who perished so tragically and unnecessarily in the Asch building fire. May we never forget their sacrifices and offer our prayers and thoughts to them on this, the 100th year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire. – Barbara Michaels, Inwood, West Virginia   1 Mar 2011

This tragedy hits closer to home as I have recently come to learm that both my grandmother. Henrietta's sisters Dora and Cecila Himmelstein were listed as survivors. It is not only my personal history, but one which was never discussed! Here we are - 100 years later --the concept of Unions is still under threat! – Stacy Lurie Kopet Heimlich, Forest Hills, NY   1 Mar 2011

Just read vonDrehle's book...watched the special last night..my grandmother, Julia V., worked in a cigarette factory in her youth in Brooklyn..I am saddened by the unidentified bodies lost to history...such a tragedy... – Joe Benedek, Freehold, NJ   1 Mar 2011

"Triangle Fire" was on our local PBS station last night--very powerful. Everyone should watch this--there's a lot to be learned. – Nancy D., Artesia, NM   1 Mar 2011

I watched the PBS special, and my heart broke. They mentioned Julia Rosen and her son, Israel, who worked alongside her. Her picture was shown.....it was the first time I ever saw my great grandmother and my great uncle. My grandfather and his two siblings were left as orphans, and were placed into an orphanage. I am hoping to find out info about the orphanage. Thank you for a well done documentary. My family thanks you for everything you have done. Bless you:) – Maureen Ferrante, Port Washington, NY   1 Mar 2011

I have known this story for a long time and I have never tired of hearing it. I know the story from realitives who worked in the garment industry in the early part of the last century. I know the story from my training and education as a firefighter. I see horrors like this returning. Returning is the fear of unemployment and doing what ever to save the corporation reguardless of wages, benifits, and safety concerns. Profits 1st on the backs of the working class. Corporations, CEO's Share Holders make a lot of money (Capitalism). When Unions want a peice of that pie they are demonised and called socialists! I only wish the American workers had a party working for them..... – W Fazio, Florida   1 Mar 2011

Wisconsin,anyone? – Laurence G., Old City,Philadelphia,Pa.   1 Mar 2011

as I watched th PBS special, it made me cry to realize the unnecessary loss of life because these two "men" had to get rich. – della, oklahoma   1 Mar 2011

Thank you so much ... A fabulous resource for teaching the event and the importance of primary source research. – R Bennett, Glen Cove, NY   1 Mar 2011

It is a story which I hope we will never forget - thank you for the reminder. Forever Union!!! – Helengene Wilson, Venice, Florida   1 Mar 2011

I was struck by this quote from one of the captions on the site: "Demands for shorter hours, better pay, and closed shops were met with scorn by the Triangle Waist Company's owners, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, who felt that recognizing the union and agreeing to collective bargaining would limit the owners' ability to run a profitable business as they saw fit." It is almost identical to current quotes from Scott Walker and others in the ugly atmosphere of confrontation on collective bargaining rights. Thanks so much to PBS for running the excellent documentary on the fire last night. It should remind us all that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Unchecked power is dangerous where ever it occurs, whether in government, industry, education or religion. – Joan, Villa Park, Il   1 Mar 2011

I've read several books about the tragedy and always come out of it amazed that more didn't die and equally amazed that those responsible received a slap on the wrist. – Rich Egeland, Chicago   1 Mar 2011

Thank you...a wonderful tribute for the innocents that lost the very lives that they came to america to better... – Maggie Barra-Hegarty, Portland Or   1 Mar 2011

First I must thank you for this website. I had heard of this tragady years ago but did not know that this was the 100 yr. until I watched PBS tonight. To those you you who lost family members my heart goes out to you, and I have always been saddened when I thought of the needless deaths. But what really scares me is the comment I recently heard on national news of a young woman saying "I don't need a union." It is a slap in the face of all who died and suffered for her right to a safer work enviroment. And no, I have never joined a union because I simply did not have one to join. But I know enough of history to be thankfull to them and how they have helped us all. People educate yourself by studing our past for it is only then that we have any hope of not repeating the same mistakes or letting something like this happen again. – Christi, Pheba, MS.   1 Mar 2011

Remembering the tragedy on its 110th anniversary – Justin Hartz, USA   28 Feb 2011

my great aunt was a victim of this tragedy. I remember my grandfather telling this story and how devastated the family was. thank you for the website. i learned a little bit about my family history. – ann v, lakewood, nj   28 Feb 2011

Always felt a connection to this event because of sharing a name with a victim and also because of my family's history in NY. Thank you for giving me a little more sense of who she was. – Margaret Schwartz, Brooklyn, NY   28 Feb 2011

This was eye opening, and heartbreaking, seeing how many lives were lost in the short amount of time. – Katie Duke, Texas, USA   28 Feb 2011

I just watched the show on PBS..So sad....To lose lives for greed....We all have family's to feed and cloth..Wake up AMERICA!!! – Mary Skaggs, Trivoli,Ill   28 Feb 2011

So moving...thank you for all of the work – Donna campbell, Dayton oh   28 Feb 2011

Such a terrible tragedy. There are many places in this world that still operate under those conditions today. Workers have to look out for each other! We must always remember those who went before us! – Judith, Portland, Oregon   28 Feb 2011

History is an important teaching tool. Congrats to Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, for using this book for their Freshman Reading Experience. – Prof. Catherine Forker, MS, Garden City, NY   28 Feb 2011

thanks for the info – Bobby, Ohio   28 Feb 2011

thank you so much for the website! – Carrie, Muenster,TX   27 Feb 2011

A sad, terrible tragedy that did, however, lead to saved lives and health of American workers. – Philip Alkon, Las Cruces, NM   27 Feb 2011

Thanks for offering this rememberance to a very trajic incident in American History. I shall be using this site for an activity for Woman's Month. – melissa swingler, New jersey   27 Feb 2011

This site has really great information on the fire. – GA,   26 Feb 2011

Working people better start sticking together, because this will be a daily headline again. there is a group of rich people in America that want us poor, hungry, and quiet. Breaking the Unions is one of the steps to that goal, and don't think they won't come for you. "If we don't hang together, we will certainly all hang separately." – B.C., Trumbull   26 Feb 2011

Sorry. Forgot to include my name and where I live on my comments. – Virginia B, Provo, UT   25 Feb 2011

I am embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of this important historical event before reading Uprising by Margaret Haddix last week. This website is an excellent source of facts and information. I especially enjoyed looking over some of the Court Transcripts. Thank you to all involved in putting this together. Looking forward to the PBS special on 2/28/11. –   25 Feb 2011

My Italian grandmother worked in just such a factory. She told us the overseers sometimes allowed the girls up on the roof for lunch, and she remembers that everyone shared whatever they had - sometimes just a piece of bread, sometimes a potato, maybe an egg if the girl was lucky enough to have one. Now, thinking about how many workers still have dangerous conditions, I wonder how my grandmother would feel, so long after her childhood. – Dianne Olsen, LaGrange, NY   25 Feb 2011

Thank you for creating this website. This tragedy must never be forgotten and I'm glad you included each victim's name and short bio. – Barbara, Fort Lauderdale, FL   25 Feb 2011

Thanks for providing so much information. I saw the reflection of this incident on today's world. – Henry Run, Guiyang China   24 Feb 2011

Thank you for preserving these powerful images. – Cheryl Parry, Brooklyn, New York   24 Feb 2011

I am doing an essay over this and I did not know how sad this was going to be and how terrible I was going to feel after this. I have really enjoyed learning about this – MDM, Gainsville, TX   24 Feb 2011

we read uprising.... it a good book olo – kate Ranck, Westminster   24 Feb 2011

we read uprising.... it a good book olo – kate Ranck, Westminster   24 Feb 2011

This site should help to explain why we are fighting so fiercely for our rights to have collective bargaining on behalf of workers. – ADB, Ann Arbor, MI   24 Feb 2011

i am really sorry for what happened during that time in the triangle factory fire. – Rashid, Newton, MA 02458   23 Feb 2011

Thank you so much for your website.I am doing a research project on this subject. – Massimo, Italy   23 Feb 2011

Thank you, Michael, for this mitzvah. It is an honor to know you. Blessed Be – TMC, Staten Island, NY   23 Feb 2011

My grandmother, Josephine (Rose) Ciardi, worked at the factory at that time. But she stayed home from work the day of the fire because her baby daughter Grace was very sick. Grace died shortly after. – FJ, Massachusetts   22 Feb 2011

i am doing a project and this really helped me out thanks and need more just sayin byebye love u – RAF3, circleville,oh   22 Feb 2011

This is a wonderful resource for students. I will be passing this information on to all of the Social Studies and English teachers with whom I work. Thank you for putting this together! – E.B, Illinois   22 Feb 2011

In memory of the 100th year passing of our Aunt Gussie Bierman. All of 22 yrs and in this country for 4 years. Our grandfather never discussed the loss of his sister. When he passed at age 99...we found many articles in the Russian/Yiddish news papers. Here we are 100 years later and the concept of Unions is still under threat! – Tobi Bickweat, Troy, NY   22 Feb 2011

Someone needs to send this histroy lesson to Gov. Walker in Madison Wiscosnin. I pray to God every day and I protest every night that he will be unable to BREAK the Unions in Wisconsin. If we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it!! DEMOCRACY is a messy business- but Fight we MUST!! – Donna, Wisconsin   21 Feb 2011

Like the fire, poverty, greed and indifference have been consuming the workers, stripping their humanity of dignity, and scorching their tattered bodies with hardships and desperation. The victims are not alone in remembering. We must not forget. – Conrad Smith C. Lacsina, UP College of Law, Philippines   21 Feb 2011

The Rochester JCC is doing the play, THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT, this March, in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the horrific event, the infamous trial, and their aftermath. – Karen Mason, Rochester, NY   21 Feb 2011

This website is such a valuable resource for anyone wishing to learn more about this tragedy. I've read the book by David Von Drehle and have been fascinated by this story for many years. The survivor stories are inspiring. Thanks to the many reforms and labor laws put into effect after this tragedy, ladies like my 94 year old aunt who worked as a seamstress all her life, had better working conditions. There is still a long way to go to make the workplace a fair and safe environment so this is a story we should never forget. Glad to see PBS American Experience (Feb 28th) is showing a documentary on this event. Until 9/11 it was probably the most shocking workplace tragedy in NY history. – Jackie Healy, Medford, NY   21 Feb 2011

My heart cries for the workers in Wisconsin. – Laura, Bronx, NY   21 Feb 2011

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