“WALKING THROUGH A RIVER OF FIRE." The first public reading of “Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle Fire Poetry,” editor and social activist Julia Stein’s new poetry collection, features contributing writers Hilton Obenzinger and Alice Rogoff. Stein hosts the event, and Nelson Motta of United Steelworkers, drawing parallels between workers struggles’ of 1911 and today, speaks on the campaign to organize carwash workers in Los Angeles.
Late on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire erupted at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the top floors of a modern, fire-proof building at the corner of Manhattan’s Washington Place and Greene Street, near Washington Square Park. In the bedlam precipitated by the flames and smoke, more than 200 panicked employees jammed the only open exit; a company policy aimed at eliminating employee theft locked a second exit door. They overwhelmed the one inadequate working elevator, and the single fire escape collapsed. Those trapped inside rushed to the window ledges and, with flames licking at their backs, leapt. They fell to their deaths on the pavement below within sight of thousands of witnesses.