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“Heroic Young Forewoman Loses Her Life”

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NY Evening Telegram, March 27, 1911 - Forewoman Fannie Lansner

Contributed by : Erica Lansner & Tom Lansner

Object # 1383

March 27, 1911

This item is a newspaper article from the NY Evening Telegram of March 27th, 1911. It recounts the heroism of my great aunt Fannie Lansner, who was credited with saving many lives before she jumped to her death from the 9th floor.

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    Commentary

    A good number of our extended Lansner family is gathering on Friday and Saturday to remember our aunt/great aunt/great-great aunt Fannie Lansner, a 20 year old forewoman at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, who perished in the fire. My father, Frank, now 88, was named for her. I knew of her death in the blaze since I was a child, and that the tragedy had helped launch a reform movement aimed at improved working conditions and broader social justice in America.
    But we knew little about Aunt Fannie. One description of her death described her as frozen with indecision as her friends fled. We now have new accounts from newspapers in the days after the Fire, found by researcher Michael Hirsch, that tell of her heroism on that terrible day. And one report also offers an insight not only to how Fannie died, but how she lived. — “We all loved Miss Lansner,” a survivor was quoted, because even if she was strict, she was kind and fair to the girls she supervised. Fannie’s everyday decency, at a time when workers had precious few rights, is a memory from which I hope my daughter, my nieces and nephews, young cousins, and others, will take as much inspiration as from Fannie’s bravery and sacrifice in helping save so many of her fellow workers.
    - Tom Lansner

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