Commemorating the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Posted on: March 26th, 2011 at 9:31 am by

Hundreds assembled at the foot of the NYU Brown Building (formerly Asch) in Greenwich Village yesterday afternoon to honor and remember the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.  Washington Place was packed from Greene all the way to Broadway, and felt like one large union rally.  People carried signs of union support alongside posters honoring the fallen.  Many carried commemorative shirtwaists which paid tribute to ancestral victims, in essence becoming family flag-bearers.

This image has been archived or removed.

The event kicked off with performance – songs, poem readings, and such.  Apropos, for sure, that “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Miserables was part of that soundtrack.  After the arts portion, it was speakers.  And plenty of them; for well over an hour.  We heard from Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Mayor Bloomberg, among others.

This image has been archived or removed.

Even Sgt. Murtaugh Danny Glover put in his two cents.  Meanwhile, a veritable who’s who of local politicians and union leaders sat on stage – Rep. Charlie Rangel, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former mayor Dinkins all received shout-outs but did not speak.

This image has been archived or removed.

Throughout the speeches and rallying, members of the New York Fire Department stood idly to the right.  Eventually it was time for roll call, led by Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, and the extension of Ladder 20.  The ladder was raised to the sixth floor of the building, which was the upper limit of firefighting capability during the fire in 1911.  Funeral bunting two stories above called attention to the windows from which so many young girls jumped to their deaths.  Today, fire engine ladders reach 100 feet.

This image has been archived or removed.

The following is video, with vocal accompaniment by some random press dude behind us:

Then, the bell tolled…

Recent Stories

An Art Show to Benefit the Educational Alliance

A new art exhibit to support the Educational Alliance and its Manny Cantor Center kicks off this weekend. Drawing inspiration from the recently-deposed Hester Street Fair, “CONTINUE TO BE” is a celebratory show welcoming the warmth and hope of springtime in the city, featuring both new and old work from local photographers who have documented life […]

Clayton’s Corner: Shine a Light on the Dark

Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, nights are especially dark on the streets of the Lower East Side. Fewer businesses, less activity, less overall light. In this latest installment of Clayton’s Corner, the neighborhood documentarian shines a light on the darkness.

City Officially Breaks Ground on $1.45B East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

After an initial delay, the contested $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is set to break ground in the coming days. All against a backdrop of legal filings and vociferous community opposition. “Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a […]

The ‘Goodnight Moon’ House on Orchard Street

On lower Orchard Street, there was a telephone, and a landlord tycoon, and an art show depicting … Goodnight Moon. Hosted by Fort Makers, the new exhibit at 38 Orchard brings Margaret Wise Brown’s 1947 children’s book Goodnight Moon to life, via a three-dimensional installation. “Goodnight House” is the work of fourteen commissioned artists who […]

Grassroots Campaign Afoot to Remove Susan Stetzer from CB3 District Manager

Clearly, someone has a personal vendetta against Susan Stetzer, the longtime district manager of Community Board 3. Several wheat-paste posters surfaced on street surfaces around the neighborhood this week, demanding “Susan Stetzer out now” and to “clean up CB3.” The action appears part of a larger (anonymous) campaign to educate the neighborhood about the toxicity […]