'Demonstration of Protest and Mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 25, 1911, 04/05/1911' photo (c) 1911, The U.S. National Archives - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

Today is the 100th anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Here’s an excerpt from a CNN piece that explains it well:

Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Waist Co. fire, a blaze at a sweatshop in New York that shocked the nation and became a defining moment in the history of the American work force. Its death toll would reach 146 — mostly young Italian and Jewish immigrants struggling to earn a living making blouses in a garment factory in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Shock and outrage from all strata of society quickly brought demands for better working conditions. New York state enacted nearly 40 labor laws in the following three years. Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, improving workers’ rights across the country.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire:

100 Years Later: Examining the Impact of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is the title of a great resource from The New York Times Learning Network.

1911 Fire Proved Photojournalism’s Power is from The New York Times photo blog.

This is the central page for all the NY Times related resources.

Triangle Fire is an excellent resource from PBS.

Teaching About the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is from the Zinn Education Project.

Photo Essay: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is from PBS.

This video movingly makes the connection to what’s happening in Bangladesh sweatshops and in the United States today (be aware it contains graphic images) It definitely conveys a strong point-of-view and, to be safe, some teachers might want to offer a counterpoint to it from some of the clothes manufacturer’s perspective:

You can read a transcript to the video here.

Here’s an interactive on the fire.

Feedback is welcome.

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