The 8th of March was born to commemorate a fire that in 1911 killed 146 workers in a New York factory -
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The 8th of March was born to commemorate…
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The 8th of March was born to commemorate a fire that in 1911 killed 146 workers in a New York factory

By Alison Forde

International Women's Day is celebrated all over the world on March 8, but how many really know why this day was chosen to celebrate this event? In reality, the answer dates back to just over 100 years ago, precisely in 1911 in the metropolis of New York. What happened on March 25 of that year inside the Triangle Shirtwaist shirt factory was terrible and still disconcerting to think about today ...

The tragedy that occurred just over 100 years ago is still regarded as one of the worst human catastrophes ever recorded in the history of the industrial sector of the United States of America. There were 146 textile workers who died from the terrible fire that broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist. 

This high death rate was caused not so much by the devastating effects of the flames inside the New York factory, but because the factory managers decided to close the entrances and exits of the building to avoid the theft of raw materials and clothing...

A huge tragedy which in the following years shed a new light on the legitimacy of the political and social struggles of women workers around the world, struggles that led to the institutionalization of March 8 as International Women's Day, but why on March 8 instead of the 25th of the same month? It was decided to keep the eighth day of the third month of the year to commemorate the institution of the "World Workers' Day" in memory of March 8, 1917, when women led a major demonstration in St. Petersburg that celebrated the end of the First World War. In 1921 the Second International Conference of Communist Women held in Moscow set the date recognized now.

However, it was necessary to wait until 1975 for the official decision of the United Nations: from that moment on, March 8 was formalized as a unique celebration day in all countries of the world.


The story that led to the holiday dedicated to all the women of the world leaves behind a trail of blood and a huge tragedy that remains etched in everyone's consciousness as if it were an indelible mark; as much as today March 8 is mostly considered a day of social and festive celebration, however, it hides a story that everyone, but everyone should know; a story that allowed, in the decades following 1911, battling women all over the world to make their voices heard, and to change for the better the condition of women workers in every country of our planet.

A heartfelt thanks goes above all to them.

Tags: Curious EventsHistory

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