March 25th, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history (with the exception of 9/11) – a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in which 146 people were killed. This tragedy will be the subject of an episode of the PBS series, American Experience, airing tomorrow – February 28th at 9 p.m. here – the date and time in your area may differ. There’s a lot of additional information on the PBS website for American Experience, and the previous episodes are viewable online so hopefully the Triangle Fire episode will be as well.
UPDATE: The Triangle Fire episode of American Experience is now available to watch online on the PBS website.
Here’s an excerpt from the History Channel show Story of Us:
And an account from survivor, Rose Freedman:
HBO’s documentary Triangle: Remembering the Fire, premiers on March 21st (east) /22nd (west)
New York Times: 100 Years Later, the Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire Is Complete
Kelowna Capital News: Smithson – Something old, something new in workplace safety
Art ● Memory ● Place – Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
January 11–March 26 and April 12–July 9, 2011
On March 25, 1911, countless New Yorkers witnessed the largest workplace disaster before 9/11, when the top three floors of the Asch Building, housing the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, caught fire. Today this building is part of NYU’s Silver Center complex—which is also home to the Grey Art Gallery. Art/Memory/Place: Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire marks the 100-year anniversary of this traumatic event, which resulted in 146 deaths. Most of the victims were young female garment workers from Jewish and Italian immigrant families. The exhibition explores a century of efforts to remember their lives and to expiate the tragedy through social, political, and economic reforms. Art/Memory/Place is the product of an innovative partnership between the Grey and NYU’s graduate programs in Museum Studies and Public History. It is curated by NYU students in collaboration with Dr. Lucy Oakley, Head of Education and Programs at the Grey, and Dr. Marci Reaven, urban historian and managing director of City Lore.
Click here for a list of additional events.
UPDATE: Here’s an article that appeared in the NY Times after I wrote this post.
In A Tragedy, A Mission To Remember
Thanks to everyone who sent me information about these commemorations.
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Lori, thanks for bringing this TV program to my attention. I have just put out an announcement of it for all of our staff. While not as deadly, the Our Lady of the Angels School fire was much more recent – only 53 years ago. If you were not aware of it, there is an excellent website that explains the incident that many of your readers may be interested in:
Thanks – keep up your great blog!
Thanks Ed! I did briefly mention Our Lady of Angels on the anniversary of the fire (http://idighardware.com/2010/12/cocoanut-grove-our-lady-of-angels/). I’ll add your link to that post. It’s SUCH a sad story, but hopefully we’ll keep learning from the unfortunate events that continue to occur.
Terrible Karma: Reverberations of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (Created and Curated by Adeola Enigbokan and Merle Patchett)
Terrible Karma is a mobile audio-visual installation that explores the contemporary, global reverberations of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, on it’s 100th anniversary.
It brings together oral histories of Triangle fire survivors, audio recordings of mega-scale garment factories in Qingyuan, China, and protest songs by present-day garment workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia.
The work takes to the streets’ on March 25th, 2011. The sounds and photographs it presents will be projected from a van driven through the streets of New York, stopping at various points to allow passers-by to experience the work from inside the van’s claustrophobic confines.
For those not in New York, the work is available to experience and download from the link supplied below.
To download and for full details go to:
Thank you for posting this information, Merle.