“Civilization Not Yet Perfect”

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November is Native American Heritage Month and the day after the fourth Thursday – when Thanking Day is observed in the United States – is Native American Heritage Day. The first effort to establish a Native American Day began over a century ago. In 1911, Dr. Arthur Caswell (Gawasco Waneh), a Cattaraugus Seneca, director of the Rochester Museum of New York (now the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences) was one of the earliest advocates of creating a day to honor Native Americans. He was an anthropologist, historian, and author. His great-uncle was Brigadier General Ely S. Parker, General Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary during the Civil War and the first Native American to serve as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

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Dr. Parker founded several Native American rights organizations, including the Society of American Indians (SAI) in 1911 and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in 1944, and advocated for Native Americans to receive U.S. citizenship. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to honor “First Americans,” for a day which they did only from 1912 to 1915.

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In the spring of 1914, Reverend Red Fox James, also known as Red Fox Skiukusha, another Native American rights advocate, rode 4,000-miles on horseback to Washington, D.C., to petition the president for an “Indian Day.” The next year, he travelled on horseback from state to state seeking gubernatorial support for Native Americans to receive U.S. citizenship. 24 governors endorsed his petition, which he presented tot he White House on December 14, 1915.

That year, the Congress of American Indian Association met in Lawrence, Kansas and directed the president Reverend Sherman Coolidge (1862-1932), an Arapaho minister and one of the SAI founders, to call upon the nation to proclaim a day to honor Native Americans. On September 18, 1915, he issued a proclamation declaring the second Saturday of each May as “American Indian Day” and appealing for U.S. citizenship for American Indians.

The first time that “American Indian Day” was observed may have been in 1916 when the governor of New York declared the second Saturday in May as American Indian Day. Several states celebrated American Indian Day on the fourth Friday in September, including the Illinois state legislature in 1919. That year, Red Fox Skiukusha petitioned Washington state to designate the fourth Saturday in September as an “Indian holiday.” However, these efforts were unsuccessful.

It was not until 1924 that Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, allowing Native Americans born in the United States, who were not covered by previous treaties or federal agreements to become citizens. The act was later amended to include Native Alaskans.

It would take several decades before Native American Day became more widespread. In 1968, California Governor Ronald Reagan designated the fourth Friday in September as American Indian Day, but it was not until 1998 that the California State Assembly enacted legislation making Native American Day as an official state holiday. In 1976, the country’s bicentennial year, Congress approved Senate Joint Resolution 209 authorizing President Ford to proclaim October 10-6 as “Native American Awareness Week” and he issued his presidential proclamation on October 8. Since 1976 Congress and the President have observed a day, week, or month, to honor Native American and Native Alaskans. In 2009, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day became “Native American Heritage Day.” In 1977, the holiday became inter nation when the United Nations sponsored the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.

Proclamations celebrating Native American history and people have changed in name, number of days, dates, and length of the observance. President Ford designated May 13, 1983 as “American Indian Day” in 1983 and November 23-30, 1986 as “American Indian Week” before moving it to November 22-28, 1987 in 1987, and finally to September 23-30 in1988. President George H. W. Bush moved the observance again, issuing a proclamation on December 5, 1989, designating December 3-9, 1989 as “National American Indian Heritage Week” before declaring November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” in 1990. Finally, President Bush declared in 1991 that November would be “American Indian Heritage Month.”

In 1992, President Bush designated 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas, as the “Year of the American Indian” and declared that November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” which it is was called until 2009, when President Obama designated November as “National Native American Heritage Month.” In 2008, Congress designated the day after Thanksgiving, November 28, as “Native American Heritage Day.”

While there is no national theme, federal departments and agencies are allowed to create their own themes. Some of the themes that the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior have used include: “Tribal Diversity: Weaving Together Our Traditions” (2006), “Tribes Facing Challenges: In Unity, Transforming Hope into Strengths” (2008), and “Life is Sacred – Celebrate Healthy Native Communities” (2010).

Some cities and state governments have gone further. The South Dakota state legislature passed a bill in 1989 proclaiming 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” between the state’s Native American and White citizens. As a result, South Dakota Governor George S. Mickelson designated Columbus Day as the state’s American Indian Day, making it a state-sanctioned holiday. Los Angeles, California voted in August 2017 to ‘dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples.’

On Election Day 2018 (November 6), Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas, a member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation tribe and Deb Haaland of New Mexico, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, became the first Native American women elected to Congress. Davids, a lesbian, made history for being the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas in Congress. Native Americans of New Mexico were the last to be enfranchised in 1962, nearly forty years after the Indian Citizenship Act. Davids and Haaland join Oklahoma Reps. Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullin in Congress.

“Word does not understand NaNoWriMo”

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo) is a month-long challenge to write 50,000 words of any writing style. NaNo began in July 1999 with Chris Baty and twenty others writing novels from scratch, ending on August 1. The following year, a friend built a website for the event to allow several hundred participants. By then NaNo had moved to November to “more fully take advantage of the miserable weather.” That year, there were 140 participants, including some from Canada. That year, a few guidelines – novels must be started from scratch, no co-authoring allowed and novels had to be emailed to headquarters for verification by midnight Pacific Time on November 30. 21 of the 140 completed their novels.

In its third year, thanks to an article in the Los Angeles Times, five thousand participated. With upgrades to the website, participants could now track their progress, and created forums. In it’s fourth year, participation grew exponentially and 14,000 signed up. The participation continued to grow and by 2012, there were 450,000 participants worldwide.

The program expanded to other endeavors. In 2004, the Cambodian Libraries program was established and NaNo gave 50% of its net profits, raising over $7,000 to establish three children’s libraries in different villages. NaNo became a nonprofit in 2008 under the name Office of Letters and Light so that it could also be involved in other projects, including Script Frenzy and the Young Writer’s Program.

Over the years, many authors including Veronica Roth (the Divergent series), Naomi Novik (the Temeraire series), Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, and The Great Gilly Hopkins) and Janet Fitch (White Oleander) have given pep talks to encourage participants.

Others have created similar projects including the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge launched in 2008 and Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). Although most book published are genres such as fantasy, science fiction, and young adult, there are a few historical fiction novels, such as Jennifer S. Brown’s Modern Girls published in 2016,

While NaNo is geared toward fiction, there are “NaNo Rebels” who write in other genres including memoir, nonfiction, history, songs, and essays. Some historical fiction projects include: Tara Gabriel’s 2015 novel was “set in Ireland in 1920, which happens to be smack dab in the middle of the Irish War for Independence, sometimes called the Anglo-Irish War. This is the war that broke Ireland into the Republic of Ireland, newly independent at the end of the war, and Northern Ireland, which remains under British rule to this day.” Kate Spofford’s 2017 NaNo project “takes place shortly after the Reign of Terror in France.”

Others, such as Barbara Ridley are working on their on contemporary fiction based on their experiences. Her book is “set in California, early 2000’s, and is inspired by my years of clinical experience working with activists in the disability community, and patients who find the resilience to rebuild their lives after spinal cord injury.” Grace Tierney’s historical fiction, The Light-Keeper’s Diary is about historian Dervla O’Malley discovering Cecil Standish’s 1917 diary written at Castle Cove Lighthouse.

A few have or are working on non-fiction, including artist Celine Terranova’s 2018 NaNo, The Part-Time Artist.

From 2006 to 2017, nearly 400 NaNo novels have been published by traditional presses and over 200 by smaller presses or self-publishing, including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Beautiful Land, by Alan Averill.

“I Came Here, Where Freedom is Being Defended, to Serve it, and to Live or Die for It.”

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October is Polish American Heritage Month. Originally it was in August, after Michael Blichasz, president of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia created the observance in 1981. President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring August as Polish-American Heritage Month on August 17, 1984. However, because October was the month when the first Polish settlers arrived in Jamestown in 1608, the month was changed to October in 1986.

October 11 is General Pulaski Memorial Day in the United States to honor General Kazimierz Pułaski (Casimir Pulaski in English), a Polish soldier who fought in the American Revolution. He died on October 11, 1779 from wounds he received the Siege of Savannah on October 9. The observance was established in 1929 with Public Resolution 16 of 1929.

Kazimierz Pulaski (March 6, 1747-October 11, 1779) was a Polish nobleman, known as “the father of the American cavalry”. He was born in Warsaw. His family’s mansion was destroyed during World War II, but part of his family estate in what is now Warka, still stands. Like his father, became interested in politics. He joined the military and became part of the revolution against Russian dominance over Poland. The uprising failed and Pulaski was exiled. Three years later, he met Benjamin Franklin in France and on his advice, went to North America to join their revolution against the British.

He had a distinguished career, becoming a general in the Continental Army, creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry. For his service at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777, in which he saved George Washington’s life, Pulaski was appointed Brigadier General of the American Light Dragoons. He was seriously wounded while leading against the British at the Battle of Savannah and died two days later aboard the USS Wasp. For his efforts, on November 6, 2009, As of 2014, Pulaski became the seventh of eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. The other recipients are: Winston Churchill (1963), Raoul Wallenberg (1981), William and Hannah Callowhill Penn (1984), Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) (1996), Marquis de Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier (2002) and Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez (2014)

A Military and Religious Funeral for General Pulaski was held on October 9th, 2015. His white casket which was a gift from the Liebchen and Godlewski families made a tour of Savannah before being taken to St. John’s Episcopal Church, where it would be placed at the Pulaski Monument on Monterey Square.

This is separate holiday from titled Casimir Pulaski Day celebrated in Chicago commemorating Pulaski’s birth on March 4, 1746.

Sufjan Stevens recorded a song “Casimir Pulaski Day” about his experiences of the holiday, interwoven with his memories of a friend’s battle with cancer. Pulanski was also commemorated on the 2 cent stamp in 1931.

Language as a Fusion of the Common and the Unique

September 30 is International Translation Day, on the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translation. He became secretary to Pope Damasus, who commissioned him to translate the Bible from Hebrew into Latin, which took him 15 years.

When the International Federation of Translators (FIT) was established in 1953, it launched the International Translation Day. The FIT decides the theme and publishes a poster, which is chosen from among a group of professional designers. Past themes have included “Translation: Bridging Cultures,”, “The Changing Face of Translation and Interpreting”, and “Translation and Diversity” in 2017. On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring September 30 as International Translation Day, to recognise that professional translation, “as a trade and an art, plays an important role in..bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to, developing and strengthening world peace and security.”

The 2018 theme is “Translation: promoting cultural heritage in changing times” recognising, as The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) notes, that “cultural heritage does not end with ‘monuments and collections of objects’. It includes intangible cultural heritage such as knowledge, beliefs, and practises concerning people, nature, and our relationship with the universe…An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life.” The 2018 theme was selected to prepare for the FIT and United Nations collaboration in 2019, which was declared the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The American Translations Association conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from October 24-27 and will celebrate International Translation Day on September 28. The ATA wants to “change the way the world views translators and interpreters just by being bold and sharing more about our jobs. Debunking the unfortunate myths and misunderstandings about translation and interpreting will help pave the way to a better future for our profession.”

Conferences relating to International Translation Day also cover related topics. The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will host a colloquium to “highlight the importance of effective translation and interpreting in our global community” focusing on “how language disparities affect already vulnerable individuals (victims of human trafficking and sexual assault, victims of gang violence, and unaccompanied minors) as they navigate healthcare and justice systems.” Speakers include Ludmila Golovine, CEO of MasterWordServices, on “Interpreting for the Vulnerable: Language Access and Cultural Mediation for Survivors of Human Trafficking”, and “Ineffective and Inaccessible: A Closer Look at Language Access for Unaccompanied Children in the U.S. Immigration System,” by attorneys Carlos Iván Hernández and Katherine McCoy, who work with unaccompanied minors on the border. There will also be a workshop on “Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault in a Healthcare Setting: Best Practices for Identification and Intervention” by Manuel Higginbotham, president of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators” and “Interpreting for Victims of Gang Violence in Central America” by Janis Palma, federally-certified judiciary interpreter.

The National Seminar on Translation and Nation was held at the National Translation Mission (NTM), Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru, on Sept. 26 and 27. The seminar “deliberate[d] issues about the role of translation in relation to nationhood, nation-building, transnational identities, globalised national etc.” Topics included “Machine translation and machine aided translation,” “Training and pedagogy,” and “Translation and social balance.”

“A Librarian is not a Legal Process”

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Banning books is an old phenomenon. One of the first examples was during the Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti’s reign. From 259 to 210 B.C., he allegedly burned 460 Confucian scholars alive to control how history was written during his life. In 212 B.C., he burned all but one copy of each book, which were kept in the Royal Library. But those too, were destroyed before he died.

In 35 A.D., the Roman emperor Caligula opposed Home’s The Odyssey, written more than 300 years before, because he thought the Greek ideas of freedom dangerous. In 1807, Dr. Thomas Bowdler published his revised edition of Shakespeare’s plays, in which he had removed “everything that can raise a blush on the cheek of modesty.” One hundred and fifty years later, it was discovered that it had been Dr. Bowdler’s sister Henrietta Maria who had exorcised the texts. The Bowdler name led to the word “bowdlerize,” meaning “to expurgate (something, such as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar.”

In 1933, months after the Nazis took power, the main courtyard of Humboldt University in Berlin was used to burn books by “Jewish, communist, or ‘degenerate’ authors.” In Munich, over 25,000 books “unGerman” books were burned. This event is still commemorated today, when many of the books are read in public.

Even children’s books were not immune. During the 1980s, the London County Council banned Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny from all London schools because the stories only portrayed “middle-class rabbits.”

Banned Books Week is the “annual celebration of the freedom to read” and draws attention to the harms that censorship creates. While many books have been banned over the years, they remain available through the efforts of booksellers, librarians, teachers, and others. It was launched in the 1980s, after the 1982 Island Trees School District v. Pico Supreme Court case, which ruled that “school libraries enjoy a special affinity with the rights of free speech and press. Therefore, the Board could not restrict the availability of books in its libraries simply because its members disagreed with their idea content.” That year, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America brought attention to the issue by placing more than 500 challenged books locked metal cages, with a sign cautioning that some thought the books dangerous.

The successful event led the ABA to invite Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) Director Judith Krug, and the National Association of College Stores to join the new Banned Books Week. This led to institutions, stores, and other businesses hosting similar events, with PBS and the New York Times covering it. Political leaders issues proclamations in support.

In 1933, The United States v. One Book Called Ulysses led to a new legal interpretation of the First Amendment. Judge John M. Woolsey overturned the federal ban of James Joyce’s Ulysses, because it did not meet the legal definition of obscenity, “[t]ending to stir the sex impulses or to lead to sexually impure and lustful thoughts.” Woolsey ruled that the ban could be lifted, as Ulysses, “did not tend to excite sexual impulses or lustful thoughts, but that its net effect on them was only that of a somewhat tragic and very powerful commentary on the inner lives of men and women.”

The case set precedent, but the Comstock Act – passed on March 3, 1873, which “ defined contraceptives as obscene and illicit, making it a federal offense to disseminate birth control through the mail or across state lines” – was not overturned until 1957 in the Supreme Court case Roth vs. The United States. The plaintiff, writer and bookseller Samuel Roth, was convicted of mailing pornographic magazines to subscribers. The court ruled that obscenity was not “”within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press” and that the First Amendment did not protect materials that were “utterly without redeeming social importance.” The test to determine obscenity, was “whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.” This excluded books that depicted sex and violence.

This year’s Banned Books Week will be from September 23–29. The 2018 theme is “Banning Books Silences Stories,” “a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against censorship.” The BannedBooksWeek coalition has relevant materials. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom also has resources, including a “Top 10 Most Challenged Books List” from 1990 to the present. 

What’s your favourite banned book?

“I Had A Voice”

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Anne Marie d’Orléans, Queen of Sardinia (27 August 1669 – 26 August 1728) was the second daughter of Philippe, Duke of Orleans, younger son of King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, and Henrietta Anne Stuart of England, daughter of King Charles I. She was, therefore, the niece of Kings Louis XIV and Charles II.

She married the eighteen-year-old Victor Amadeus II Duke of Savoy on April 8, 1684. Anne had eight children, of whom two sons and two druthers survived.

The birth of their eldest child Adelaide nearly killed Anne, who was barely sixteen at the time. Adelaide married the Duke of Bourgogne, grandson of King Louis XIV. Their next child, Maria Luisa married King Philip V of Spain.

Anne was also involved in governing the kingdom. While her husband was away, for example, fighting the French in 1690, Anne Marie was allowed a limited role, issueing and signing patents.

Anne Marie almost became a Queen in her own right. Her mother, Herneiatte Anne Stuart, was the daughter of King Charles I. Henrietta Anne’s niece, Queen Anne had a series of stilbirths, and her only surviving son died at a young age. This sparked a succession crisis, as King William III and his wife Mary II had no children. The only surviving child was Anne Marie. But, the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, stated that, were King Wiliam II and Queen Anne to die childless, the throne would pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her Protestant descendants. It excluded Henrietta Anne’s descdeants, and those of Sophia’s eldest siblings. As she was a French Catholic, married to an Italian prince, she and her descendants were barred from the throne.

In 1720, Victor Amadeus became King of Sardinia. His descendants would become Kings of Italy. Neither he nor his wife lived very long after Victor Amadeus became King. He died in 1730, succeded by their son Charles Emmanuel III. His grandson would be named after him and become King Victor Amadeus III.

Anne’s daughters predecesed her and her sons reigned but only one of her sons had children. When the Cardinal of York, Henry IX of England died, the next heir in line would again have been Anne Marie’s line, King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, great-grandson of King Victor Amadeus and Queen Anne Marie.

Ann Murray, DBE (Born 27 August 1949) – not to be confused with Canadian pop and country singer Morna Ann Murray, known as Ann Murray – is an Irish mezzo-soprano. She was born in Dublin. She began singing lessons at 4, at the Municipal School of Music in Chatham Row [renamed the ‘Dublin College of Music’ in 1962, and known today as the ‘DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama’]. At 7, she became a founding member of the ‘Young Dublin Singers’ and took part in school choir and productions. She attended University College Dublin in 1967 and studied Music and Arts. She was studying with Nancy Calthorpe and, after winning several prizes went to England to study with Frederick Cox at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

Her stage debut was as the title role of C.W Gluck’s Alceste with the Scottish Opera at Aldeburgh. She has performed in the title roles of Handel’s Xerxes and Ariodante and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, with the English Nationa Opera, and with the Royal Opera House. She has also sung with the Orchestre de Paris, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

Murray was made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the National University of Ireland in 1997. During the Golden Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2002, she was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

She performed at the Wexford Festival in Ireland in the 1970s, but has not – as of 2015 – had an opportunity to perform any major title roles in opera in Ireland. She did work as a coach and educator at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is a founding member of the Songmakers’ Almanac, which “explore[s] neglected areas of piano-accompanied vocal music and provide[s] an alternative to conventional recitals.”

“The first bill I shall introduce will be one to admit Hawaii to Statehood”

From 1849 to 1959, Hawaiians repeatedly attempted to become a state. In 1849, pressure from Britain and France forced King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III prepared a provisional deed ceding the Kingdom of Hawaii to the United States. He gave the letter to the United States Commissioner, but as the pressure decreed, it was never implemented.

In 1854, the king singed an order, directing the Minister of Foreign Relations to find out how the United States viewed annexation, and the terms and conditions they would agree to. The Hawaiian government drafted a treaty that August, for Hawaii to obtain full statehood, but the informal negotiations fell apart. Over thirty years later, on September 8, 1897, the Republic of Hawaii ratified an annexation treaty, which a joint resolution of Congress accepted as the Newlands Resolution, which President McKinley signed.

It was not until April 30, 1900, when Preisdent McKinley signed the Organic Act, that established the government of the Territory of Hawaii that all those who had been citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, were now citizens of the Territory of Hawaii and the United States.

Although Hawaii’s first Territorial Delegate to Congress, Robert Wilcox pledged that his first bill he would introduce would be to allow Hawaii to become a state, and by 1940, 67% of Hawaiians voted in favor of statehood in the general election – it was not until 1958 when Delegate John Burns, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson and Democratic Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, negotiated a two-step process admitting Alaska as the 49th state in 1958 and Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959.

Shortly before Hawaii achieved statehood, in March 1959, Life magazine published an article, “Hawaii—Beauty, Wealth, Amiable People,” which included several color photographs of the people and places of Hawaii, including a Dole pineapple plantation and children learning a Mamala paddle dance to honor of Lono, the god of peace and agriculture.

On March 11, 1959, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the statehood bill, which President Eisenhower signed on March 18, 1959. Finally, on August 18, Hawaii was admitted into the United States. On August 24, Senators Oren E. Long, Hiram L. Fong, and Representative Daniel K. Inouye took their oaths of office in Washington D.C. Representative Inouye became Hawaii’s first voting memebr of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2003, the Hawaii Legislature passed a bill to organized events to celebrate Admission Day on the weekend of August 15 through 17.

However, in recent decades, the attitude toward celebrating Hawaiian statehood, and Hawaiian statehood in general, has changed. In 1959, more than 90% of the public supported statehood. There was dancing in the streets and fireworks at the Iolani Palace. Governor Ben Cayetano – the first Filipino-American governor in the U.S. —and the nation. – did celebrate Statehood Day, from San Francisco in 2000, and issued a public statement in 2002, he had since ceased commemorating the day, citing it as too controversial. His successors have felt the same, and have refused to celebrate, though Gov. Linda Lingle organized a government conference on the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood.