Video: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

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The fire that engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in March 1911 marked the deadliest workplace accident in New York City's history. It started when a worker dropped cigarette ashes into a waste bin, the fire killed 146 people -- 123 women and 23 men. In the fire's aftermath, protests by garment workers led to a series of reforms in America's textile industry.

This video addresses both the fire and its aftermath and, perhaps more importantly, the experiences of immigrants arriving in the United States during the early 20th century. Fleeing war, political and religious persecution, and economic hardships, immigrants imagined the United States as a land of endless opportunity. Unfortunately, for many the reality was much different.

The video is an excellent resource for either middle or high school students studying immigration and factory conditions in the United States during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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