March 25th, 2011

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The 100th Anniversary of the Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Actually, I am kind of surprised I posted this before mabfan, as this is almost the quintessential mabfan sort of thing to remember (it involves New York City, organized labor, and an anniversary that is a multiple of 10). For those unfamiliar. you can find the Wikipedia entry here.

As is often the case with such anniversaries, I am reminded of my grandfather Max Feld -- a proud union organizer and die-hard New Yorker (by which, of course, he meant Manhattan).

The sad thing is that I suspect that if the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire happened today, we would have lots of people blaming on those damn immigrant workers and how they deserve what they got and, besides, if we improved factory safety that would just raise the price of clothes for consumers and kill jobs.