Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Afternoon History Lesson

Walking home from church today, an uncommon mental thunderbolt reminded me that today was March 25th, the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire.  I veered a block off course and visited the site of this disaster where 101 years ago 146 workers (129 women, 17 men) died in a fire on the ninth floor of this building.  Their employers kept them locked in their sweatshop without a key during the day so when the fire broke out, there wasn't any hope.  The disaster was a leading incident in the rise of the American labor movement.  I learned all about it in 5th and 6th grade.

It is easier to find the historic building you're looking for when there's a wreath out front.

Along with the wreath, a flower for each victim of the fire.

The oldest person I saw was Annie Starr, aged 30.

The youngest, Kate Leone, 14, with a lot of other teens and young twenties in between them.  I found a blog with a little more information on each of the casualties.

The little Italian American museum up the street from me always has a display about the Triangle fire.

The Wikipedia article on the fire is a pretty riveting read.  According to it, six of the dead from the fire remained unidentified until 2011.  Also, this year was the first year I realized there were any male casualties in the fire.

1 comment:

Pearl said...

you did it