Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Monday On HBO: The Catastrophe That Changed America
On March 25, 1911, a catastrophic fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. Trapped inside the upper floors of a ten-story building, 146 workers – mostly young immigrant women and teenage girls – were burned alive or forced to jump to their deaths to escape an inferno that consumed the factory in just 18 minutes. It was the worst disaster at a workplace in New York State until 9/11.
The tragedy changed the course of history, paving the way for government to represent working people, not just business, for the first time, and helped an emerging American middle class to live the American Dream.