Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Anniversary

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. I just got back from the ceremonies, but they’ll be continuing all day. I got choked up at one point. I know lots of other people have died in equally and more horrible ways, but this disaster always sadly resonated with me. Those girls fought so hard to have a union, telling everyone that the conditions where dangerous. I remember reading how some people threw things at them when they picketed the year before, and spat on them. They tried to live, but not enough people would listen.

The kids here holding up signs with the names and ages of the people who died look like they’re the same age as those girls who died 100 years ago.


Union members holding up signs.


The building where the 146 garment workers died. The arrow is pointing to the floor where most of the people were killed. Those are the windows they jumped from. In the foreground someone is holding up a shirt. There were a lot of those, with the victims names on them.


A closer look. The banners indicate where the factory was and where the girls jumped.


A shot of the crowd. I didn’t get anywhere near the stage with the speakers, but that’s okay. I didn’t particularly want to.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Anniversary

  1. The thing that always really galled me about this was the fact that nobody was ever punished in any way for this event. They got off scott free.

  2. I am greatly saddened by what is happening now in this country — the “union busting” going on.

    One of my aunts was a union organizer at a local sewing plant; my late husband, in a job before we married, was the union representative. Truly, those poor women who died in that fire should symbolize WHY we need unions.

    P.S. I will try to dig out that article from FATE about my grandfather, scan it in and send it to you via email sometimes this weekend. Thanks for the interest!

  3. Stacy, I’m glad you got your camera fixed. Thanks for all you do in the area of remembering things and people who need to be remembered.

  4. My camera isn’t fixed yet! But the flash is the main thing that is broken, so I can take pictures during the day.

    Cara, thank you!! I’m very curious (but you don’t have to rush)!

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