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ASSE, Chicago Groups to Hold Free “The Fire That Changed America” Event April 7 at Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery

Posted in on Mon, Mar 14, 2011



For Immediate Release                                                                     Contact: Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413 

March 14, 2011


The Fire That Changed America:

The triangle tragedy at 100 & the importance of Workers, Workplace Safety


In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire,  a free public program will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2011.  The program will feature a presentation by Jo Ann Argersinger, Professor of History at Southern Illinois University and author of The Triangle Fire, A Brief History with Documents and will include a talk by historian Rima Lunin Schultz on “The View From Chicago”; a poetry reading from Walking Through a River of Fire; a panel discussion with workers currently on the job and an occupational safety, health and environmental professional from Chicago; followed by a question and answer period. A book signing by Prof Argersinger and a screening of the American Experience documentary “Triangle Fire” will follow the program.

WHEN:    Thursday, April 7, 2011, 3:00—5:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. Directions

WHY: On March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City took the lives of 146 people unable to escape due to inadequate safety protections. Many jumped to their deaths to the pavement below.  Public outrage and grief at this horrific tragedy led to new work and safety legislation, rules and regulations countrywide. Months later in New York City the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), now based in Des Plaines, Illinois, was formed and the modern work safety movement began.  Today, workplaces are safer but more needs to be done. Join the organizers at this free public program to discuss this tragedy and its historic consequences.

CONTACT:  Diane Hurns, ASSE, at (847) 768-3413 or


       Also, at 6:00 PM the Working Women’s History Project gala will present a new play on the Triangle Fire titled: “The Ninth Floor Door” written by Mary Bonnet, at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave. This program only will have an admission fee of $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and will include music, refreshments, and a panel on internationalization of the garment industry, workplace safety and today’s workers. Contact  for registration information.


SPONSORS:  American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Chicago Area Women’s History Council,

Chicago Labor and Arts Festival, Chicago Women’s Liberation Union Herstory Project,

Illinois Labor History Society, Jewish Labor Committee, Roosevelt University Dept. of History

and New Deal Studies, UIC Dept. of History, Working Women’s History Project

*The Gage Gallery exhibit features ‘Working-Class’ photos by well-renowned photographer Milton Rogovin.

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