The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, March 11, 1911

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Few events encapsulate the collision between expansive industrial growth in the garment industry and the rights of garment workers, many of whom were women, than the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911. The deaths of nearly 150 workers and the means by which they perished ignited labor union fury and popular horror. Progressive Era labor leaders pressed state and federal officials for better and safer work conditions, which in New York State resulted in labor laws, aspects of which were later adopted more widely under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Correspondence in the A.F.L. records spanning from January 1911 to January 1912 documents these developments.

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