On March 25th 1911 a fire struck and killed 146 workers. Nearly all were women, the youngest was 14 years old. Almost all were immigrants and all of them protested the year earlier to make their work place safe. When they protested they were beaten, looked down upon by the press, and threatened. They won most of their concessions. But being able to form a union was one they lost.
When the fire started they found there were only 3 exits, because a 4th was locked. The stairwell that wasn't quickly became filled with fire and smoke. The fire escape collapsed with the weight of fleeing girls and the elevator shuttled the workers 25 at a time. When the smoke cleared, there were 145 dead- killed by either smoke inhaltion, being burned alive or falling to their death. One person survived the initial fall. But sadly, her injuries were too severe and she was the fire's 146th victim.
This fire made Congress and the people want to support unions and have work place safety. This began the long road as to what we think of how labor is today. This event directly shaped why the protest in Wisconsin is going the way it is. This was the moment when the labor movement was finally accepted and this happened because 146 people died 100 years ago.
This strip orginally ran after the weekend of the 100th anniversary of the fire. There are some wonderful resources to see or hear online. The Wikipedia page can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire PBS releaced a wonderful documentry which can be seen here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/triangle/player/ and if you search NPR they have a ton of material to listen too, however, the one that was my inspiration for http://www.npr.org/2011/03/24/134814089/Triangle-Fire-Remembrance
On a final note, Jacob Kurtzberg is one of the most important people in comics. However, that wasn't the name he was famous for. Can anyone guess who he is?
Special Contest Announcement!
Tuesday 5/3 marks the first new strip since Drunk Duck crashed. Excited? Me too. So here is the deal, we want to come back in a big way and reward my readers and followers especially people who have enjoyed my comic from the beginning. At midnight on 5/3 I will post something on twitter and I will select one person at random who will retweets that post to win some art used in "Right About Now" Just follow @jandrewworld