Annelise Orleck: Historian reflects on tragic Triangle Fire at Brooks Memorial Library
Source: Common News, 10-26-11
Originally published in The Commons issue #124 (Wednesday, October 26, 2011).
Dartmouth College professor Annelise Orleck will discuss the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in a talk at Brooks Memorial Library on Nov. 2.
Her talk, “100 Years since Triangle: The Fire that Seared a Nation’s Conscience,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7 p.m.
On March 25, 1911, a fire at the factory in Greenwich Village killed 146 young workers, most of them young immigrant Jewish and Italian women.
With exits locked, women leapt to their deaths while thousands watched. Half a million New Yorkers lined the funeral route, and politicians vowed to change workplace safety laws.
Orleck will talk about these events and their historical significance.
Orleck is professor of history at Dartmouth College, where she teaches U.S. political history, women’s history, and the history of race, ethnicity, and immigration, as well as Jewish studies. She is author of Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working Class Politics in the United States (1995) and Storming Caesar’s Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (2005). She is co-editor of The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices from Left to Right.
The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Brattleboro are held at Brooks Memorial Library.
Upcoming Brattleboro talks include “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era,” with Race and Reunion author David Blight on Dec. 7; “An Evening with Ken Burns,” with acclaimed PBS filmmaker Ken Burns on Jan. 4 (to be held at Latchis Theater); and “Willa Cather’s Prairie Landscapes” with Amherst College professor Michele Barale on Feb. 1.