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This edition: March 2010

Episode Details

Original tape date: March 1, 2010.

First on ITALICS, we take you to the official commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, one of the worst industrial disasters in the history of the United States, March 25th, 1911, held at the site of the tragedy, the Asch Building, now New York University’s Brown Building of Science, on the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place. The Official Observance was sponsored by The NY Fire Department, the union Workers Unite, among various other Unions, and The Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition. Surviving Family members, Politicians, local School Children and others read out the names of the dead, placing a flower on the very ground where many horrifically chose to jump to their death, as a Fire Bell rings out in somber tones for each lost life, a Fire ladder extending futilely up, reaching only to the sixth floor, with the fire raging three stories higher, a fire that horrifically claimed 146 lives, mostly young immigrant women, working as seamstresses in sweatshops that were unregulated, unprotected and unsafe. This sad tragedy, the worst industrial accident in American history before 9/11, became a watershed moment for union membership and representation, federal legislation and regulation on workplace safety and child labor laws. ITALICS cameras were there to record all of sights and sounds of the participants that comprised this year’s poignant event, presaging a larger, more comprehensive community and hopefully national observance for next year’s centenary anniversary.

Next ITALICS goes to an Artistic Observation of the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire held at the Judson Memorial Church at New York University. Sponsored by the Remember The Triangle Coalition along with many other Artists Collective’s and community art projects, the event gave voice to history, and life from death, through various artistic projects and gifts such as Song, Theatre, Puppetry, Poetry, Art and Political Action. This event was also hoped to be a prelude to an even larger observance for the centennial anniversary.

ITALICS NEWS BRIEFS brings you updates on Professor Mario Fratti, Hunter College/CUNY, author of the Broadway Play “Nine”, which became the inspiration for the recent eponymous Feature Film, Blood Type Ragu’s, new limited run, the excellent play by Frank Ingrasciotta, and the Calandra Institute’s upcoming International Academic Conference, Terre Promesse, excursions towards Italian Topographies.

Guest List

Jack Ahern President, United Federation of Teachers

Suzanne Pred Bass Relative of Triangle Fire Victim

Salvatore J. Cassano Commissioner, New York Fire Department

Lucia Grillo Italics Correspondent

Frank Ingrasciotta Playwright/Actor

Annie Lanzilotto Lanzilotto & FIASCO

John C. Liu New York City Comptroller

Vincent Maltese Relative of Triangle Fire Victims

Mike Mulgrew President, UFT

Bruce Raynor President, Workers United-SEIU

Marc Ribot Musician, Blood & Roses

Ruth Sergel Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition/The Chalk Project

Cav. Anthony Julian Tamburri, PhD. Dean and Executive Director, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute