A tragic event in the city

A horrible tragedy this week in Man-hattan. Fire consumed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, located in the Asch Building near Washington Square. Scores of Germanic, Slavic, and Italic girls perished in the inferno; a goodly number jumped to their deaths. A witness described the frightening thud of bodies on the pavement as some sixty girls jumped 9 stories to their death. Some were as young as 12; they died fifteen years before their time. Horrors!

Despite the tragedy, one must remark on how the downtrodden often bring such misfortune on themselves through their heedlessness and haste. Witnesses remarked that the factory was in a disarray, with scraps of fabric and paper patterns strewn about the floor. It is speculated that such conditions contributed to the fire's fierce and rapid spread through the upper floors of this building. Compounding the difficulty of escaping, one of the exit doors was locked to bar union organizers from entering. It is my hope that union officials note with great sorrow and shame the way in which they have contributed to many more deaths than were necessary.

A moment to remember those who died such brutal, senseless deaths.


The astute reader will recall that garment workers from this very factory instigated the Uprising of 20,000 in 1909; slothful seamstresses walked off the job en masse, indignant at having to work a mere 14 hours a day. I asked at the time and I ask now, if they were to work a 12-hour day, as they demand, how exactly do they plan to while away the remaining 12 hours? "The devil makes work for idle hands," and this phrase applies doubly to the impoverished.

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