March 25th was the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 in NYC. The fire started on the ninth floor. Fire truck ladders could only reach the sixth floor. One-hundred and forty-six young girls and a few boys died either within the factory or from jumping out windows. The door that was not engulfed in flames was locked, as the owners said, to deter theft. At the trial it came out theft amounted to $15 -$20. They also wanted to keep union organizers out.
These were the same girls who in 1909 organized for better working conditions and better wages. They were beaten and arrested. At the time of the fire most wages were $0.14 per hr. Adjusted for inflation that would be $3.18 today. The aftermath of the fire was public outrage and new laws to protect workers.