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Hundreds Gather for Triangle Shirtwaist Centennial

Friday, March 25, 2011

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Hundreds gathered at the Greenwich Village site of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1911 blaze that tore through the building and killed 146 workers in a tragedy that rocked the nation and paved the way for unions.

The ceremony turned into a rally for organized labor, where speakers repeatedly criticized Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who pushed through legislation earlier this month to eliminate public workers' right to collective bargaining.

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was on hand and applauded those protesting in Wisconsin, while Senator Chuck Schumer went further, saying Walker and others "want to drag our nation back to 1911."

The names of the 146 victims were read aloud and white carnations were placed at a flower wreath in front of the building. Red carnations were also laid in memory of the victim's of a factory fire last December in Bangledesh that killed 27 workers.

 

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

100th Anniversary of Triangle Shirtwaist fire

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Comments [3]

lulubee

@S Teicher
I also heard a guest (I believe Joshua Freeman) on WNYC's Brian Lehman show agree with you that, from his eyewitness perspective, thousands--rather than hundreds--attended the ceremonies.

Mar. 28 2011 07:54 PM
Sheldon Teicher from Forest Hills

I dispute Mr. Nessen's statement that "hundreds" attended the commemoration. I have measured the length of the occupied portions of Washington Pl. & I find that the crowd was in 560 feet of the street after discounting for the stage, the screen, & the less than complete presence between Mercer & Broadway.That means that roughly 11,200 square feet was filled at a rate of approx. 3.13 sq. ft. per person, or 3600 people at minimum. I was there with my union delegation & we could not advance beyond the middle of the Mercer-Greene block after completing the march so I have a very good notion of what went down.Please revise your estimate since a lot of hard working folks tried to make this a success.

Mar. 26 2011 12:56 PM
nancy campion byrne

My grandmother was 11 years old and living in Manhattan when this terrible tragedy happened. I grew up hearing stories about the women who perished and the families. At a young age, I learned about Frances Perkins and the labor reform work that she did.

I wish i could have been present at today's
memorial.. I now live in Salem, Oregon but today spent some time in quiet reflection of working class women who have suffered and who continue to fight for fair labor and working conditions, Until there are unions and decent wages, struggles will continue.. Bread and roses for all!

Mar. 25 2011 07:12 PM

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