Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition

Triangle Fire Open Archive

Cultural Response

Eleanor Roosevelt at “Pins and Needles”

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Contributed by : Maggie Schreiner

Object # 107


In developing the Triangle fire exhibition “Art-Memory-Place” at NYU, we made use of the Kheel Center’s records of the ILGWU Local 25 (which included Triangle Factory workers). We discovered a photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt, Rose Schneiderman and David Dubinsky at the ILGWU production “Pins and Needles.” This was particularly neat, as the photograph documented a scene also portrayed in the mural “History of the Needlecraft Industries” at the High School of Fashion Industries.

Courtesy of : Kheel Archive

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The ILGWU president, David Dubinsky, is shown seated next to Rose Schneiderman and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at a production of “Pins and Needles”– a satirical play about labor problems and current political events.” Eleanor and Franklin invited the company to perform “Pins and Needles” at the White House in March 1938. Rose Schneiderman – nicknamed the “Red Rose of Anarchy” for her flaming red hair, powerful oratory skill, and militant labor and women’s rights activism – was close friends with Eleanor. Eleanor had worked with Rose in the NY Women’s Trade Union League and remained a labor advocate after moving to the White House.  Schneiderman taught Frankin and Eleanor most of what they knew about working people and helped shape New Deal labor and social security legislation.

– Amanda Pietrzykowski

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