In an article yesterday on i-Italy.org, writer Benedetta Grasso looks at last week's New York City observation of the 99th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
As many may recall, the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911 lead to the deaths of 148 garment workers, mostly Italian and Jewish women, who had been locked in the factory by management to keep them working. As Grasso notes, the women either died in the fire, or by jumping out of the building's windows.
The following outcry lead to greater workplace protections for employees, with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union achieving stricter regulations in case of fire across the country, Grasso reports.
Today the building that housed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street is now part of NYU's campus. But its story lives on as a reminder of the challenging, exhausting and often unsafe conditions our immigrant ancestors endured in the pursuit of a better life for their families.