FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2010
CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302

Vermont Humanities Council Presents First Wednesdays Lecture
Dartmouth Professor Reflects on Tragic Triangle Fire at Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library


Montpelier ~ Dartmouth Professor Annelise Orleck will discuss the tragic Triangle fire that occurred nearly a century ago in a talk at Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library on January 5. Her talk, "100 Years Since Triangle: The Fire That Seared a Nation’s Conscience,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7:00 p.m.  

On March 25, 1911 a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Greenwich Village killed 146 young workers, most of them young immigrant Jewish and Italian women. With exits locked, women leapt to their deaths while thousands watched. Half a million New Yorkers lined the funeral route and politicians vowed to change workplace safety laws. Orleck will talk about these events and their historical significance.

A Professor of History at Dartmouth, Annelise Orleck is author of Common Sense and a Little Fire: Women and Working Class Politics in the United States and Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty. She is co-editor of The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices from Left to Right.

The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Montpelier are held at Kellogg-Hubbard Library unless otherwise noted.

First Wednesdays is also presented in eight other communities statewide: Brattleboro (at Brooks Memorial Library); Burlington (at Fletcher Free Library); Manchester (at First Congregational Church, hosted by Mark Skinner Library); Middlebury (at Ilsley Public Library); Newport (at Goodrich Memorial Library); Norwich (at Norwich Congregational Church, hosted by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society); Rutland (at Rutland Free Library); and at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities and open to the public. 

Upcoming Montpelier talks include “Civility in a Fractured Society” with National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach on February 2 (to be held at the Vermont State House at 7:30 p.m.); “The Soul Selects Her Own Society: The Life and Work of Emily Dickinson” with Dartmouth professor Colleen Boggs on March 2; and “The Supreme Court Argument That Saved the Union” with former Vermont Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy on April 6.

The Vermont Department of Libraries is the statewide underwriter of First Wednesdays. The Montpelier First Wednesdays series is sponsored by National Life of Vermont. Kellogg-Hubbard Library is sponsored in honor of Mathew Rubin.

“100 Years Since Triangle” is a National Endowment for the Humanities We the People project: Sharing the lessons of history with all Americans.

For more information, contact the Kellogg-Hubbard Library at 802.223.3338 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or [log in to unmask], or visit

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.

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