Channel Esther: The Triangle Fire

by Esther Cohen Some stories we can’t tell enough. March 25, 1911 (honoring this story today) 146 people died, jumping falling factory on 23-29 Washington Place NYU now owners locked the doors preventing workers from taking breaks stealing merchandise Fire changed our laws, starting International Ladies Garment Workers (ILGWU) there are still fires still people […]

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February 9: The Bubblegum-Card Maestro

Woody Gelman, co-creator of Bazooka Joe for Bazooka Bubble Gum, the Mars Attacks card series of 1962, and numerous other cartoons, comics, and other collectibles, died at 62 on this date in 1978. Gelman was a Brooklyn boy who attended City College, Cooper Union, and Pratt Institute, then worked with Max Fleischer’s studio, DC comics, […]

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January 28: Abba Hillel Silver

Cleveland’s Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, a key player in the mobilization of Zionism in America, was born in present-day Lithuania on this date in 1893. He came to the U.S. at 9 and was educated in New York, which he left after high school to attend the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. Graduating as valedictorian, […]

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June 6: Up on Cripple Creek

The governor of Colorado (Davis H. Waite) dispatched the state militia on this date in 1894 to protect striking workers at the Cripple Creek gold mine — the only instance in American history in which soldiers were mobilized not as strikebreakers but to protect strikers against a private corporate militia. Cripple Creek was a thriving […]

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July 10: Sidney Hillman

Labor leader Sidney Hillman, head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union and a key organizer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), died of a heart attack at 59 on this date in 1946. Hillman was born in Lithuania and groomed to be a rabbi, but became a Jewish Bundist by age 16 and, after coming […]

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April 2: Sol Stetin vs. J.P. Stevens

Sol Stetin, the president of the Textile Workers Union of America who led a 17-year struggle to unionize J.P. Stevens in the anti-union American South, was born in Poland, near Lodz, on this date in 1910. As a textile worker, he was active in the nationwide American textile strike of 1934, which involved half a […]

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