Senator Rivera Commemorates Anniversary of Bronx Happy Land Social Fire and Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Gustavo Rivera

March 25, 2011


Bronx, NY – Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF-Bronx) issued the following statement in commemoration of both the Bronx Happy Land Social fire and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire that occurred on March 25, 1990 and March 25, 1911 respectively: 

“March 25th is a significant day for New York city as we pause to remember those that lost their lives in the Happy Land Social Club fire in 1990 as well as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. In both cases New York immigrant communities were hit particularly hard. In 1990 the Bronx Honduran and Garifuna communities were devastated by the Happy Land Social fire. In 1911, European immigrant women workers lost their lives and became a symbol for the need for safer working conditions during the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. 

As we take the time today to remember both of these tragedies, we must keep in mind that many of these deaths could have been avoided. That is why after 1911, workers organized to ensure that we have higher safety standards in the workplace. It is why in 1990 we were reminded that we still have a long ways to go to guarantee the safety of workers and community members. 

Unfortunately, it is too often immigrants or those who live on the margins and are new to our city, to our state and to our country are victims of lax safety standards. As the ranking member of the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections committee, I am committed to finding ways to increase public safety and safety awareness because we all deserve to feel safe, be it in our homes, our workplace or the community spaces we frequent.” 

Senator Rivera will also be attending a mass and memorial for the victims of the Happy Land Social club fire at St. Thomas Aquinas Church this evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.