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happy? - Mar 25 (Triangle / Scottsboro)


Related threads:
Triangle Fire ala DHAKA, Bangladesh (16)
Lyr/Chords Req: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Song (16)

Abby Sale 25 Mar 06 - 08:52 AM
Bev and Jerry 25 Mar 06 - 06:37 PM
Abby Sale 26 Mar 06 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 10 - 07:47 PM
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Subject: happy? - Mar 25 (Triangle / Scottsboro)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 08:52 AM

The Triangle Shirtwaist Co. factory fire was 3/25/1911

        In the heart of New York City, near Washington Square,
        In nineteen hundred eleven, March winds were cold and bare.
        A fire broke out in a building - ten stories high,
        And a hundred and forty-six young girls in those flames did die.

                "Ballad of the Triangle Fire" by Ruth Rubin, © 1968; Pete Seeger, Carry It On

(The last survivor of fire, Rose Freedman died at age 107 2/15/2001.)


In Scottsboro, Alabama:
Nine blacks were accused of raping two white women.
Despite testimony by doctors who had examined the women that no rape had occurred,
despite world protest and repeated overturning of the convictions by the U.S. Supreme Court,
Alabama just kept retrying them.
(Five were freed July 24, 1937)

Clarence Norris, the last Scottsboro Boy was finally pardoned 10/25/1976

        Go to Alabama and you better watch out,
        The landlord will get you,
        Gonna jump and shout,
        Scottsboro, Scottsboro, Scottsboro Boys,
        They can tell you what it's all about

                "Scottsboro Boys," Leadbelly; The Library of Congress Recordings on
                Elektra EKL-301/2, LP (1965/field), [thanx for words to Michael Thilo]

Early warning notice: This series of the Happy File noncontinues beginning April 16.
Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 25 (Triangle / Scottsboro)
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 06:37 PM

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurred in New York City on March 25, 1911. The doors were locked in order to prevent unauthorized rest periods or trips to the bathroom. As a result, 146 women were burned to death because they were working on the upper floors beyond the reach of fire ladders. Their average age was 19. the following poem entitled "A Ballad of Dead Girls" was written by American poet Dana Burnett:

        Scarce had they brought the bodies down across the withered floor
        Than Max Rogosky thundered at the district leader's door
        Scarce had the white-lipped mothers come to search the fearful noon
        Then little Max stood shivering in Tom McTodd's saloon

        In Tom McTodd's saloon he stood beside the silver bar
        Where any honest lad may stand and sell his vote at par
        "Ten years I paid the system's tax", the words fell quivering, raw
        "And now I want the thing I bought - protection from the law."

        The leader smiled a twisted smile, "Your doors were locked", he said
        "You've overstepped the limit, Max, a hundred women dead"
        Then Max Rogosky gripped the bar and shivered where he stood
        "You listen now to me", he said, "like business fellas should"

        "I've paid for all my hundred dead, I've paid, I've paid, I've paid."
        His ragged laughter rang and died for he was sore afraid
        "I've paid for wooden hall and stair, I've paid to strain the floors
        I've paid for rotten fire escapes, for all my bolted doors"

        "Your fat inspectors came and came, I crossed their hands with gold
        And now I want the thing I've bought - the thing the system sold"
        The district leader filled a glass with whiskey from the bar
        A little silver counter where he bought men's souls for par
        And well he knew that he must give the thing that he had sold
        Least men should doubt the system's word and keep back the system's gold
        The whiskey burned beneath his tongue - a hundred women dead
        "I guess the boss can fix it up. Go home and hide", he said

        All day they brought the bodies down from Max Rogosky's place
        And oh the fearful touch of flame on hand and breast and face
        All day the white-lipped mothers came to search the sheeted dead
        And horror strode the blackened walls where death had walked in red

        But Max Rogosky did not weep - he knew the tears were vain
        He paid the system's price and lived to lock his doors again.

Bev and Jerry

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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 25 (Triangle / Scottsboro)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 10:27 AM

Good addition. Thank you. Not just because the doors were locked. The Triangle fire led to sweeping new and enforced safety laws in the northeast and throughout the US but such conditions still exist today in much of the world and even in the US. I saw such myself in Glasgow in the 70's.

In many of the garment sweatshops the thread shavings & dust filled the air like saw dust or powder. It was tinder for the smallest spark and the danger of flash fires was well known back in the twenties. It was the scale and failure of escape routes...

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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 25 (Triangle / Scottsboro)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:47 PM This is an original song written about the fire-copyright 1911- also check out this website from Cornel U-Kheel Center

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