Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire 50th Anniversary

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This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Unnamed band plays the Star Spangled Banner. Reverend Yager is introduced and gives a prayer related to the dangers of fire: "Open their eyes, Oh God, to the causes of fire in their own homes...lest fire come up on them in the middle of the night and turn their happy home in to a shambles and a house of death." "Give special force, Oh God, to the fire prevention program of our Fire Commissioner and our Fire Department." Chaplain Eckhart is introduced, and Mrs. Roosevelt comes to the stage. The crowd applauds, and Eckhart recites the Lord's Prayer.

Robert S. Oldsman of New York University speaks about the history of the building and company, NYU's ownership of the site. Dr. David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, condemns the management of the factory: "greed locked the doors." Continues to talk about the importance of unions, mentions Mayor O'Dwyer. Introduces Frances Perkins, former Secretary of Labor, who talks about seeing the fire and its impact. Dubinsky continues by talking favorably of Fire Commissioner Cavanaugh, who speaks briefly about the fire, specifically about the records the city has documenting it.

Mrs. Roosevelt speaks: "every one of us should rededicate ourselves to doing the things that we can do to prevent fire... to see that the laws are complied with." "I have never forgotten what happened that day fifty years ago."

An unnamed speaker implores the audience to keep the governor from passing the sprinkler bill.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 53569
Municipal archives id: LT9081