Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903

Mr. Brandt discusses his book Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903, published by Southern Illinois University Press. When the Iroquois… read more

Mr. Brandt discusses his book Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903, published by Southern Illinois University Press. When the Iroquois Theatre opened in 1903, it was advertised as “absolutely fireproof.” With the approval of the Chicago’s building department and despite evidence that fire safety violations were ignored, theater developers Harry J. Powers and William J. Davis opened the theater prematurely to take advantage of the holiday crowds. However, on December 30th, a fire broke out during a matinee performance. All of the 1,724 seats were filled and an additional two hundred people were standing. In the span of twenty minutes, more than five hundred people, most of whom were women and children, were asphyxiated, burned or trampled to death in the panic that ensued. Nearly one hundred more died of injuries suffered during the blaze. No one was ever convicted or held accountable for the tragedy. Mr. Brandt recounts the details surrounding the disaster and the subsequent court hearings. The book also contains photographs and anecdotal information about victims of the fire. close

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Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903

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Program ID:
164176-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
Chicago, Illinois, United States
First Aired:
Mar 16, 2003 | 3:30pm EST | C-SPAN 2
Last Aired:
Apr 05, 2003 | 12:00pm EST | C-SPAN 2

Airing Details

  • Mar 16, 2003 | 3:30pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 16, 2003 | 9:30pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 30, 2003 | 1:01am EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 05, 2003 | 12:00pm EST | C-SPAN 2
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Chicago Death Trap: The Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903

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