On The Anniversary of an Uprising, a Walking Tour of Women’s History

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One hundred and two years ago today, Clara Lemlich made a speech that echoed through the Great Hall of Cooper Union and led 20,000 women to walk out of sweatshops and onto the picket lines to protest intolerable working conditions. “The Uprising of the 20,000,” as the general strike led by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union came to be called, started in November of 1909 and ended in February of 1910 with higher wages and a 52-hour work week. A little over a year later, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire would claim 146 victims (roughly one out of three of them East Village residents) and galvanize labor reform still further.

On Saturday, to commemorate the anniversary of the Uprising, Andrea Coyle of The Lower East Side History Project led a Women’s History Walking Tour of the East Village. Now readers of The Local can follow her path by clicking on the map, beginning with the tour’s starting point at Cooper Union and continuing southward down and around the Bowery.