History & Mission

Mission
The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition educates the public about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire through its on-going arts projects, educational outreach, and social media sites. The Coalition works with Workers United, the New York City Central Labor Council, the FDNY, New York University, and various community groups to plan and implement the annual remembrance activities on the anniversary of the fire each March 25. Throughout the year, the Coalition offers programming to raise public awareness about the fire and explore its continuing relevance for worker rights and workplace safety. On our website and via social media we provide resources about the Triangle fire for educators and promote the work of organizations that advocate for worker rights and safety in the US and around the globe. We aim to be as inclusive as possible with our programming to make this history relevant and accessible to people of color, people with disabilities or communities whose primary language is not English. The Coalition is currently working to establish a permanent public art memorial on the Brown (formerly Asch) Building where the fire happened to honor those who died in the fire, so that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

The Fire
The Triangle Waist Company was located one block east of Washington Square Park. There were over 500 employees – most were young women, most were recent immigrants. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the 8th floor. Workers ran to the fire escape. It collapsed, dropping them to their deaths. On the 9th floor a critical exit was locked. People on the street watched as the workers began to jump out the windows. Fire trucks arrived but their ladders only reached the 6th floor. The elevators ran as long as they could as workers pressed into the cars; some tumbled down the elevator shaft.

In the end 146 people died. There was a trial but the owners, long known for their anti-union activities, got off. The fire became a rallying cry for the international labor movement. Many of our fire safety laws were created in response to this tragic event. We remember because we are still fighting for social justice for all.

The Coalition
In concert with individuals and organizations across the country, the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition supported the creation of commemorative events – education, art, memory moments – for the March 2011 Centennial. Today, it is spearheading the building of a public art memorial to honor the legacy of the Triangle factory workers.

The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.