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The Triangle Factory Fire - Cornell University Kheel Center

Grades
8 to 12
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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 represents a turning point in the history of labor relations and workers' rights to a safe work environment. In commemoration of the 100th...more
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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 represents a turning point in the history of labor relations and workers' rights to a safe work environment. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the fire, and in tribute to the 146 young, immigrant workers who lost their lives largely due to unsafe working conditions, you'll find an overview of the fire and the circumstances that led up to it. There are a large number of historical images of the building itself, primary documents related to the event, newspaper accounts of the investigation and trial, brief biographies of the victims, as well as interviews with survivors (19 were women). Audio recordings of oral histories from three survivors, and transcripts of those interviews are a valuable resource.

tag(s): 20th century (53), immigrants (27), immigration (68), industrial revolution (25), industrialization (14), labor day (6), safety (88), women (104)

In the Classroom

A particularly rich source of primary documents, photographs, and interviews with survivors, add this to your resources for lessons on the labor movement, stories of early 20th century immigration, and women's history. There is a helpful section for students on using primary documents and resources, and an excellent bibliography. During Women's History Month challenge students to compare women's labor issues in 1911 with the labor issues women have today. Use an online tool such as Lucidchart, reviewed here, or the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Be sure and include this information as a resource for Women in History Month or National History Day projects.

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