Friday was the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory near Washington Square in New York City. 146 employees, the vast majority young immigrant women, died in the fire itself, or jumping from the 8th or 9th floors of the building to escape from the fire. As Von Drehle describes it, it was the worst workplace disaster in New York until 9/11.
CNN aired the HBO documentary about the Triangle Fire last night, and having read this book on it a few years ago, it seemed fitting to mention it in remembrance of the tragedy.
Since its been some time since I read the book, I'll refer you to this article from one of my local news channels and this one by Alice Hoffman from the Los Angeles Times. In the aftermath of the fire, the labor unions were able to fight for and gain improvements to working conditions and fire safety codes were established to help prevent fires from happening in similar conditions.
If you have an interest in social, labor or womens history, I would highly recommend this read. And for a little more updated information on the fire and its aftermath, check out Cornell University's Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire.