Sterling High School is proud to present Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory. Based on a true story, the Radium Girls were factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting radium dials – watch dials and hands with self-luminous paint. After being told that the paint was harmless, the women in each facility ingested deadly amounts of radium after being instructed to “point” their brushes on their lips in order to give them a fine tip; some also painted their fingernails, faces, and teeth with the glowing substance.
The incidents occurred at three factories, one being in Ottawa, Illinois. Five of the women in New Jersey challenged their employer in a case over the right of individual workers who contract occupational diseases to sue their employers under New Jersey’s occupational injuries law, which at the time had a two-year statute of limitations, but settled out of court in 1928. Five workers in Illinois sued and received damages in 1938.
A statue honoring these women is located in Ottawa.
Performances for this one-hour production will be October 27-28 at 7:30pm and October 29 at 2pm. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Box office is open Monday-Friday from 3-6pm or purchase online at centennialauditorium.org.
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