Coalition program commemorates 100th anniversary of tragic blaze
ALBANY, N.Y. March 24, 2011 - A special program will be held Friday at the New York State Museum commemorating the 100th anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire - one of the worst workplace disasters in American history, which claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, most of whom were young, immigrant women.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. in the museum’s Clarke Auditorium to coincide with the exact time and date of the deadly blaze. The horrific fire changed the course of labor history, shedding a badly needed light upon injustices in the workplace and serving as the catalyst for improved labor-safety standards on the state and federal levels.
Sponsored by Capital District Triangle Fire Centennial Coalition and emceed by New York State Assemblyman John McEneny, the event aims to honor those who lost their lives in the fire. New York State United Teachers, a coalition member, provided support for Friday’s program.
Among those participating in the event will be WCNY News Director Susan Arbetter; Dr. Christopher Breiseth, scholar and former president of Wilkes University; and Paul Cole, director of the American Labor Studies Center and a former NYSUT director. Diocese of Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard also will participate, helping to close out the annual 40-hour fast for social justice by the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition.
NYSUT, the state’s largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.