Don't miss these upcoming Triangle fire commemorations

As you know if you read this blog, this month marks the centennial of the Triangle Factory fire, a watershed in the American labor movement. One hundred years later, the 1911 tragedy provides a powerful reminder of the challenges faced by the many Jewish immigrants who toiled long hours in harsh factory conditions in a struggle to achieve the American dream.

On March 13, the Jewish Women’s Archive held a benefit luncheon to commemorate the Triangle fire and to celebrate the work of Jewish women activists—the ones who campaigned for reform in years around the fire and three who are making a difference in their world today.

As you might also have heard, JWA created an online walking tour of sites related to the Triangle fire and women’s labor history in New York and has partnered with Travelgoat to produce a free audio version of the walking tour.

But we aren't the only organization that is marking the centennial of the Triangle fire. There are several hundred events happening in New York and elsewhere. For a comprehensive list, go to the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition website.

Several of the most interesting have websites of their own:

  • From the Fire is a dramatic oratorio created by Tony nominated composer Elizabeth Swados, Cecilia Rubino, Paula Finn, and Bonnie Roche-Bronfman that “will dramatize the history of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and bring the event into the 21st century.” Performances will be held March 23-27 at Judson Memorial Church in Washington Square, just two blocks from where the fire occurred in 1911.

  • Terrible Karma: Reverberations of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: If you encounter this mobile sound and photographic installation in New York City on March 25, you will hear excerpts from survivors’ oral histories and see photographs of their lives. The exhibit on wheels will also include audio from modern-day factories in China and Bangladesh, “allowing distant presences, events, and people to become more intimate and the contemporary resonances of the Triangle Fire to reverberate.”

  • The Triangle Fire Open Archive is an online participatory archive of community-contributed objects, each of which tells a portion of the story and impact of the Triangle fire and its relevance today. It is a collaboration between the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition and Buscada, an interdisciplinary practice which designs and curates projects on place and dialogue.

  • The Triangle Walk: On Sunday, March 27, join 146 volunteers, one to represent each of the workers who died in the fire, on a walk from the Triangle Factory (now part of NYU) to the Museum at Eldridge Street for a “tribute of poetry, music and labor speeches in both Yiddish and English.”

  • Chalk: Held annually since 2004, this public art initiative led by filmmaker Ruth Sergel sends volunteers to the sidewalks of New York City “to inscribe in chalk the names and ages of the victims in front of their former homes.”

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How to cite this page

Imber, Elizabeth. "Don't miss these upcoming Triangle fire commemorations." 21 March 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on September 24, 2023) <>.

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