Events (Old)

Triangle Fire Commemoration: March 24-26

The preliminary schedule for LAWCHA events at the Triangle fire commemoration is out! The following itinerary focuses on the LAWCHA events at the Triangle Fire Commemoration, March 24-26, 2011. Full information for other these and other events can be found at Remember the Triangle Fire: Specific questions for LAWCHA events should be directed to Kim Phillips,

100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, March 25, 1911

The weekend of March 24-26, 2011 there will be a variety of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, March 25, 1911, in which 146 young workers lost their lives and which forever changed the relationship of American government to the workplace.

Thursday March 24 | 9am-8:30pm

Legacy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Day-long conference at CUNY Grad Center
365 Fifth Ave
Co-sponsored by the Labor and Working Class History Association [LAWCHA. Conference is followed by an evening of presentations at the Gotham Center.
Full Schedule:

First Session, 11am – 12:30

  • Global Perspectives on Sweatshops (LAWCHA)
  • Memorializing the Past: Using Memorials and Monuments to Teach Local History
  • Triangle, Unionism, and the NYC Garment Industry
  • Why No Fire This Time? Round Table on the State of Contemporary Class Politics
  • Labor and Immigration Politics: Past and Present
  • Labor Standards and the State
  • Grassroots Organizing for Workers Health and Safety Today
  • Triangle and Representations of Labor in 20th Century Art

Second Session, 3pm – 4:30

  • Organizing the Usable Past (LAWCHA)
  • Teaching the Triangle Fire (LAWCHA)
  • Child Labor: Then and Now (LAWCHA)
  • Combating Domestic Sweatshops (LAWCHA)
  • Global Sweatshops and International Solidarity: The Case of Bangladesh
  • Feminism, Low Wage Workers, and Organized Labor
  • From Triangle To Massey: OSHA at 40


Panelists Richard Greenwald (The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace, and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York), Jennifer Guglielmo (Living the Revolution), Annelise Orleck (Common Sense and A Little Fire), Ruth Sergel (Street Pictures, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition), Ellen Todd (George Mason University), and author David Von Drehle look back at The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

Friday March 25

Gotham Center
365 5th Avenue
New York
Rooms 9204/9205/9206/9207

Plenary, 9-9:30
Richard Greenwald, “How the Triangle Fire Changed America”

[Room 9204]

Panels, 9:45-11:00am

  1. Teaching Tragedy: From Middle School to College
    [Room 9205]
    Patricia A. Reeve, Suffolk University; Michael Innis-Jiménez, University of Alabama; Cybèle Locke, Connecticut College; Cynthia Anne McLeod, Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School; Kathleen Banks Nutter, Stony Brook University.
  2. 2. Practicing Historical Memory: Cultural Responses to the Triangle Fire

    [Room 9206]
    Annie Lanzillotto, Poet and Activist, Louisville, Kentucky; Janet Zandy, Rochester Institute of Technology; Florence Howe, emerita, Graduate Center, CUNY, emerita, Feminist Press.

  3. Remembering Our Past, Continuing the Struggle: Immigrant Women, Radical Cultures, and Organizing in the US, Canada, and England
    [Room 9207]
    Ruth Percy, University of Southern Mississippi, “Critical Mass Matters: Comparing Labor Organizing among Jewish Immigrant Garment Workers in Turn-of-the-Century London and Chicago;”
    Ester Reiter, York University, “Zingen far Sholem, Zingen Far Broyt/ Sing for Peace, Sing for Bread: Culture and Political Activism among the Jewish Left in Canada, 1920s-1930s, and its Legacy;”

    Warren Pepicelli, New England UNITE HERE Joint Board


Workers United Official Commemoration, Brown Building
Asch/Brown Building
Green St and Washington Place (1 block off Washington Square Park)
The memorial will feature speeches (including one by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis), music and commemorative performances

The Brown Building housed the Triangle Waist Company on the 8, 9 & 10th floors.

Cooper Union, 2:30-4:30

7 East 7th Street
Film: “Out of Darkness: The Mine Workers Story”
Student Activism Workshop

6:30-8:30 An evening of speeches and performances

Great Hall of the People, Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
Featuring worker testimony about today’s labor conditions around the world, this evening will include a talk by Katie Quan on the bridge program between garment union retirees in NYC and garment workers in the People’s Republic of China today; Jim Green and Cecil Roberts on the history of disasters and mineworkers; Ai Jen Poo about domestic workers, Chaumtoli Huq about taxi workers.

March 26, 2011 8:30-12:30

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
7th Avenue at West 27th Street

Plenary and panels on Contemporary Activism in the Labor Movement. Historians and labor activists discuss a variety of contemporary labor struggles in the United States and around the world.

Sponsored by Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA)

Plenary, 9-10:30 on Contemporary Activism in the Labor Movement

Panels, 10:30-12:30

  1. Disaster and its Impact:
    Howard Lupovitch, “‘Not So Golden After All’:” The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in the European Jewish Press”;

    Robert D. Sampson, “A Priest on the Front Lines: Father Martin Mangan in the Decatur “War Zone”;
    Mark Noon, “Two Fires, Two Tragedies: Comparing Avondale and Triangle.”

  2. Labor, Environment, and Public Health Movements in Working-Class Communities
    Les Leopold, Director, Labor Institute and Public Health Institute, NYC;
    William Brucher, Brown University, “From the Picket Line to the Playground: Labor, Environmental Activism, and the International Paper Strike in Jay, Maine;”
    Merlin Chowkwaynun, University of Pennsylvania, “Labor and the New Environmental Health Risk: Regional Perspectives;”

    Kevin C. Brown, Carnegie Mellon University, “‘Working Environments’ in Lumber: The Louisiana Experience, 1890-1920.”

  3. “Safety in the Modern Plantation: Women’s Agency and Workers’ Conditions in the Mississippi Delta” Roundtable
    Laura Lovett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Francoise Hamlin, ; Rose Turner, United Food and Commercial Workers; Sarah White, Mississippi Catfish Workers; Jaribu Hill, Director, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights.
  4. Combating Domestic Sweatshops, a Roundtable
    Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara; Premilla Nadasen, Queens College, CUNY; Narbada Chhetri, Senior Community Organizer, Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice, NYC.

7:30-9pm Triangle: From the Fire

Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South

Operetta by Elizabeth Swados, Cecilia Roberts, and Paula Finn
[tickets are $5 and we have seats reserved. Please email Kim Phillips,, with your reservation]