Ordinary people, extraordinary history.

People’s Heritage Tours tell the forgotten stories of everyday people who came together
against tremendous odds to make lasting changes, which impact us today.
If you like learning about the history of various NYC neighborhoods, don't miss this tour! This is an exciting one-of-a-kind tour; you'll love it!
- Susan O.
He's also a really engaging storyteller with an eye for what stories are important history to tell. He has a true love for history, and it shows.
- Chris G.
A perfect balance of drama and history as we walked around this historic neighborhood. Our guide was dynamic, entertaining, knowledgeable - and always looking out for everyone - a delightful tour.
-Alan B..
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Tour
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From the ashes of one of America’s greatest tragedies rose a powerful movement of union building, triumph over corruption, women’s rights, and democracy.

On Saturday, March 25, 1911 a fire began in the Triangle Garment Factory. 146 of the 500 workers there died.

This is the story of the tragedy that provoked outrage, union building, and political reform that eventually influenced Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation of the 1930s.

Garment Workers in New York’s Chinatown Tour
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One day, Chinese women turned off their sewing machines, stood up, walked out and changed Chinatown and New York City forever.

20,000 Chinese immigrant women workers in hundreds of garment factories in Manhattan’s Chinatown went out on strike in 1982, revived the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) and turned the tide of sweatshop labor for a generation.

This is the story of that movement.

Our Mission

Women, immigrants, youth, people of color, queer people, artists, intellectuals and working people all have histories of standing up and building movements that opened the door for others as well. Their legacies survive in their testimony, their art, the products of their labor, the stories they told, and the stories we tell.

We walk the streets to reveal the stories of past injustices, struggles, and victories.  We reveal the evidence of historic events and social movements sitting in plain sight.

Who We Are

Daniel Katz, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Historian
People’s Heritage Tours was founded by Daniel Katz, Ph.D., who serves as the Chief Historian.  Dr. Katz teaches history at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, and he is the author of All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism and co-editor of Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America. A licensed New York City tour guide, he has developed and conducted walking history tours for more than 30 years.
May Ying Chen
Co-Developer, Chinatown Tour
May Ying Chen was a leader of Chinese garment workers during and after the events of 1982. She is an American labor organizer and advocate for immigrant workers. Before retiring in 2009, she was an officer and founding member of the AFL-CIO’s Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), and the International Vice President of UNITE HERE.

Who We Are

Daniel Katz, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Historian

People’s Heritage Tours was founded by Daniel Katz, Ph.D., who serves as the Chief Historian.  Dr. Katz teaches history at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, and he is the author of All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism and co-editor of Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America. A licensed New York City tour guide, he has developed and conducted walking history tours for more than 30 years.

May Ying Chen
Co-Developer, Chinatown Tour​

May Ying Chen was a leader of Chinese garment workers during and after the events of 1982. She is an American labor organizer and advocate for immigrant workers. Before retiring in 2009, she was an officer and founding member of the AFL-CIO’s Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), and the International Vice President of UNITE HERE.

On the Triangle Fire

“Labor historian Dan Katz stopped his walking tour across the street to give a comprehensive history of what led up to and followed the tragic event. “

“The Triangle Fire was a transformative moment in American history as movements for women’s rights, labor reform, and anti-corruption came together to demand change.”
“Fire safety was expensive, and workers’ lives were cheap.”

On the Uprising in Chinatown

“The tour centers on a strike by thousands of garment workers in the summer of 1982, a strike organized largely by immigrant women who helped change the course of labor relations in the industry, the role of Asians in the American labor movement, services to the Chinese community, and their own lives.”
“ILGWU organizer May Chen was particularly eloquent. Contractors never dreamed that ALL of their workers would walk out, but that’s exactly what 20,000 garment workers did. Contractors got the message and signed the ILGWU contract they previously thought only the old-line manufacturers would agree to.”

Chinese Language Press

“Katz said that he will continue to introduce the history of Chinatown to different ethnic groups in this form, so that more people can understand the long-standing cultural story of this ancient community.”

“Chinatown Walking Tour Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Chinatown Protests”

On History and Social Justice
“US manufacturing has fled to countries around the globe for decades. But unions are fighting back.”
“Everywhere you look in Brooklyn, there is evidence of people over time expressing their dreams, their outrage, and celebrating who they are and of victories hard fought and won.”

We are proud to partner with these social justice organizations that continue the work and honor the memory of the people and the movements that built New York and the country.

Have it your way

Email or call us for private tours 7 days a week for up to 20 people.
We will work with you to modify our tours to meet your interests
Come one, come all. Contact us for future dates not yet listed.
Any tour can be a great gift for colleagues, friends, and family.