This March 25th marks 100 years since the history changing Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire claimed the lives of 146 people, most of them young immigrant women. It was largely due to this tragedy that the labor code of New York state was transformed and stricter fire safety measures were adopted that would serve as a model for the entire nation. Also, factory working conditions and safety became a priority for many agencies who would see that they were also strictly monitored.
This event in our nation’s history first came to my attention when I was watching a documentary of the history of New York City a few years back. It really struck a chord with me, because of the young ages of the girls who worked in the factory, that they were poor immigrants and the fact that so many of them could have been spared had their escape routes not been locked by greedy owners, and had they even had a WORKING fire escape. Sadly, these people perished, some by jumping from the top floors of the factory building because the fire had spread so quickly.
At SDSU there will be a concert hosted by the Jewish Studies Program commemorating the event this Wednesday the 23rd. It will be held at Rhapsody Hall in the Music building, I’m going to try to attend but dagnammit I have class so we’ll see… For more info on the event go to: http://jewishstudies.sdsu.edu/lectures_events.htm