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”

banned books

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”

Anne Marie 2

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.

For Duty Beyond The Sea

In 1998, Congress declared July 27th of each year until 2003 “National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day” which the President would proclaim annually, to honor those who died during the Korean War (1950-3). 1.8 million Americans fought. 36,574 died and over 7,800 are still missing. As of 2013, there are more than 28,000 Americans still in South Korea. While Congress only mandated marking “National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day” through 2003, the tradition continues, with Florida governor Rick Scott was one of those who proclaimed “National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day” in 2017.

Of those who went to fight, Hallie Duncan of Hannibal, Missouri and Jimmy Bruce of Belham, Kentucky were declared Missing in Action (MIA) in the winter of 1950. In 2003, Sergeant Jimmy Higgins’s and Sergeant Hallie Clark Jr.’s remains were returned to the United States and buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1996, the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CIL-HI) has recovered more than 40 sets of remains from Korea.

The Korean War was began on June 25, 1950 when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. Some of the first troops to arrive in Korea were those who were part of the Occupation Force in Japan. Some, such as Curtis Morrow were sent directly to Korea from the United States. Morrow served in the last all-black unit of the Korean War. President Harry Truman integrated the military in 1948, but it was not until during the Korean War that integration actually happened. Morrow detailed his experiences in his first book, What’s a Commie Ever Done to Black People? A Korean War Memoir of Fighting in the U.S. Army’s Last All Negro Unit.

The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, which is now officially called Armistice Day, when the tri-lingual Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in Panmunjom. Over the next two years and seventeen days, 155 meetings marked the longest armistice.

On June 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation that replaced the word “Armistice” with “Veterans,” making November 11 Veterans Day, during which most Americans now observe the Korean Armistice.

Forty-two years after the Armistice, on July 27, 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated. It is located near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The memorial commemorates the 5.8 million Americans who served, and is divided into four parts. The nineteen statues are composed of fourteen Army, three Marine, one Navy, and one Air Force members. The Mural Wall is made by the Cold Spring Granite Company in Cold Spring, Minnesota. It has forty-one panels which measures 164 feet, with more than 2,400 photographs of the Korean War. The last part is the Pool of Remembrance, a reflective pool encircling the Freedom Is Not Free Wall and Alcove. At the base of the Alcove are listed those who were killed, wounded, went missing, or were taken prisoner during the war. Beside the Mural Wall, is the United Nations Wall, listing the twenty-two nations who sent troops to aid the United Nations efforts.

The Korea Society, founded in 1957, when General James Van Fleet and a group of prominent Americans established the first nonprofit organization in the United States, to promote good relations between the United States and Korea. The U.S.-Korea Society in New York and the U.S.-Korea Foundation in Washington DC merged in 1993 to become the Korea Society. The Society hosts an annual ceremony to honor Korean War Veterans at the New York Korean War Veterans Memorial in Battery Park in lower Manhattan in 2016.

“Who does not understand should either learn, or be silent.”

John_Dee_Ashmolean

John Dee (13 July 1527 – 1608/9), the English and Welsh mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer was born on July 13, 1527. He was a Cambridge-educated scientist, who did postgraduate work with mapmaker Gerardus Mercator. He became an authority on navigation, and also suggested that England adopt the Gregorian calendar. Although some Tudors may have considered him a philosopher, astrologer, and even a magician, he was mostly a mathematician and chief scientific adviser to Queen Elizabeth I. Using math, Dee created horoscopes, and practiced alchemy, numerology, and astology.

His father Roland Dee was of Welsh descent and was a “gentleman sewer” in King Henry VIII’s court. When Queen Mary I came to the throne in 1553, and began persecuting Protestants, Dee’s father Roland was one those arrested, that August. Although he was released, he was deprived of all of his assets, leaving Dee without an inheritance.

The following year, he was offered a mathematics post at the University of Oxford, which would have alleviated his financial strain, but he refused the offer. On 28 May 1555, Dee was arrested on charges of “calculating” because mathematics was considered analogous to having magical powers. Despite being guilty of the charges, Dee was released after three months.

The following year, Dee presented Queen Mary with plans to build a national library. Though Queen Mary did not support the plan, Dee set off to create his own. Over the next five years, Dee collected books on astronomy, astrology, mathematics, coding, and magic, poetry, and religion. The library at his Mortlake home, which eventually grew larger than the Oxford and Cambridge libraries, had over 4,000 books.

Dee used his other skills for various purposes. He had traveled the Continent and returned to England in 1551 with many navigational instruments. Beginning in 1555, and for the next thirty years, he was a consultant to the Muscovy Company, formed that year by navigator and explorer Sebastian Cabot and many London merchants. It’s goal was to find the Northeast Passage. Some of Dee’s contributions were preparing navigational charts for the polar region and instructing the crew in geometry and cosmography before their voyage to North America in 1576.

When Elizabeth became Queen, Dee’s fortunes changed. Elizabeth asked him to use astrology to select the appropriate coronation day. In 1582, Pope Gregory issued a proclamation that the Gregorian calendar, based on the date of the Council of Nicaea in 325, would be used.

Up to that point, the church had used Roman Empire’s Julian calendar, adopted by the Council of Nicaea in 325, to ensure that Easter was observed at the same time. However, the Julian calendar added an extra ten minutes to the year, and by the 1582, an extra ten days had accumulated. The Council of Trent removed ten days from October 1582 and brought it back to the same astrological alignment as the Council of Nicaea. Roman Catholic countries accepted the new calendar, but most Protestant countries did not.

However, Queen Elizabeth did seriously consider adopting the Gregorian calendar, and chose Dee as an adviser. The following February, Dee propsed that the calendar remove elven days to align it with the astronomical year. While several of Elizabeth’s advisers approved the plan, the Archbishop of Canterbury did not. Dee’s plan failed, and England’s calendar at odds with that in the rest of Europe until 1752.

Dee continued to regain his lost income for the rest of his life. He attempted to gain an appointment as Master of St. John’s Cross, which, though approved by Elizabeth, was not approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1596, he was appointed warden of the Collegiate Chapter in Manchester. But, tragedy struck a few years later when his wife and several children died of the plague in Manchester in 1605. Dee returned to London and died a few years later.

One of the John Dee Society’s missions – like the Library of Congresses’ attempt to recreate Thomas Jefferson’s library – is to reconstruct Dee’s library, “based on his Catalog of manuscripts and books of 1583, prior to its dispersal throughout Europe.”

Dee has or has reputed to be the subject of many art forms. Christopher Marlowe’s eponymous character from his play Doctor Faustus may have been based on him, as was perhaps the magician Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In modern times, he was a character in the Damon Albarn’s opera, Dr Dee, and even the band Iron Maiden’s song The Alchemist.

The second book of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy, Shadow of Night features John Dee and fellow alchemist Edward Kelly during the early 1590s.

Arthur Dee (13 July 1579 – September or October 1651), John Dee’s eldest son, was born on his father’s 52nd birthday.

In 1583, his family left their Mortlake home and traveled around Europe over the next few years, including in Prague where he lived in one of the houses that belonged to Emperor Rudolph’s astronomer. In 1586, the family settled in Trebon in Southern Bohemia. There John Dee and alchemist Edward Kelly performed alchemical experiments and Arthur witnessed his first alchemical tramsutation, turning base metals into gold.

In 1602, at 21, Arthur married Isabella, daughter of Edward Prestwich de Hulme, a Justice of the Peace in Manchester. There Dee practiced medicine for many years. Three years later, Arthur became a freeman of Mercer’s Company, by patrimony, and also by donating some of his father’s books. The following month, his mother died of the plague, and his father returned to Mortlake. Around that time, Arthur moved to London to set up a practice. Over the next nearly ten years, the Censors of the Royal College of Physicians of London summoned him several times for practicing medicine illegally, though nothing was done until 1614. He was asked on what authority he practiced and told them that medicine was his profession and that he could make a business of it. He was warned to refrain from practicing. At a meeting three weeks later, Dee presented his qualifications, the doctorate and letters patent from the University of Basel. The following May he was questioned again and answered that he was the Queen’s physician and practiced by royal perogative.

Tzar Mikhail and Dee’s paths would cross when went to Russia in 1621. Dee became Tzar Mikhail Romanov’s personal doctor. Earlier that year, King James I had written to him of Dee’s loyal service. Dee’s father had been offered the appointment in Russia, which Dee accepted. He stayed in Moscow for 14 years until his wife became ill due to the climate and died in 1634. In a letter to Tsar Mikhail in 1633, King Charles I called Dee a “skillful and learned Phisitian.” [sic] to Queen Anne.

He returned to England where, by 1635, he was Physician Extraordinary to King Charles I. He retired from the position some years after and went to live in Norwich. He died in October 1651.

“It Took Away The Rest Of My Life”

On June 24, 1973, thirty-two people died after the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar on Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana burned from an arson attack. It is the deadliest fire in New Orleans and the second deadliest act of violence against LGBTQ people in U.S. history. Twenty-nine died at the scene, and three died later from their injuries.

Patrons at the bar, who participated in various celebrations, events, and activities, were celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. There were around sixty-five people still in the bar around eight pm when the buzzer sounded downstairs. When it continued to ring, the bartender, Douglas “Buddy” Rasmussen sent a regular downstairs. When he opened the door, a fireball burst through the door. The draft sucked the fire upstairs and within second, the walls were burning. Douglas Rasmussen escorted twenty people through the back exit to adjoining rooftops. A few, like Francis Dufrene, whose body was on fire, squeezed through the burglar bars on the windows.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze around sixteen minutes after receiving the call. Many of the victims were so badly burned that they could only be identified by dental records, including several victims who were patients of another victim, Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Twenty-nine of the victims, including the only woman, were identified, but three were so badly burned that they were unidentifiable. Fifteen men who leaped from the fire escape were injured, with six in serious condition.

One of the few press articles about the tragedy was a TimesPicayune headline which called the scene “Hitler’s Incinerators.” No public officials spoke about the event, though New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu and Governor Edwin Edwards had issued condolences in November after six people died in a fire at the Rault Center, and in January after eight died in an arson at a downtown Howard Johnson’s. Families refused to claim the victims. The three unidentified victims and Ferris LeBlanc, whose family did not know of his death were buried in unmarked graves in a potter’s field. In 2015, LeBlanc’s family – who had accepted his sexuality – learned of his fate. They had lost touch after LeBlanc left California. While they eventually found records, the family was unable to locate LeBlanc’s grave.

Police investigated for two months and issued a 64-page report in August. They found little evidence: a can of lighter fluid at the scene, and two suspects, David Dubose and Roger Nunez neither of whom were ever prosecuted. David Dubose was a teenager who confessed to the crime, though he soon recanted. His alibi was confirmed and he passed a polygraph test. Police focused on their second suspect, Roger Nunez, who had been kicked out of the bar earlier that night for fighting with another patron, according to Michael Scarborough, another patron’s testimony. As he left, Nenuz had said “something to the effect of ‘I’m going to burn this place down,’ or ‘I’m going to burn you out,'” Scarborough told police.

Bur before he could be interviewed, Nunez had a seizure. He was taken to Charity Hospital. When he was released, the police were not notified and it took months for them to find him. When questioned, he denied setting the fire and that he wasn’t sure had been at the Upstairs bar that night. People he knew claimed that he had confessed to the crime. At least one source has inverted the identities of the victims, stating that it was Dubose who patronized the bar that night, and not Nunez.

In the final report, the police department concluded that, “Although there is speculation of arson, as of the writing of this report, there is no physical evidence to indicate anything other than this being a fire of undetermined origin.” The coroner classified all 32 deaths as “accidental fire fatalities.”

It took a week before a church agreed to hold a memorial. St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the MCC, promised to safeguard the mourners’ identities, and offered to let them leave through the back door when television crews appeared outside the front door. No one accepted.

In 2013, composer Wayne Self created a musical “Upstairs,” based on the arson. He has created composite characters of the thirty-two victims. A documentary, “The UpStairs Lounge Fire” was also created that year.

A documentary of the tragedy, Upstairs Inferno premiered in New Orleans on June 24, 2015, the 42nd anniversary. The film has traveled around the world, including many US states, Greece, and Ireland.

ABC also released a documentary, “Prejudice and Pride” on June 24, 2018, the 45th anniversary.

The deadliest attack on LGBTQ people occurred on June 12, 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The club, located within twenty miles of Disney World, billed itself as “Orlando’s Premier Gay Nightclub.” Saturdays were “Latin Night” at the club. Around two a.m. just before last call, the gunman entered the club, which had around three hundred and twenty people inside. Over the next three hours, when police killed him, he killed thirty-eight in the club. Two other victims died on the street outside the club, and nine died en route or at hospitals.

Unlike in the aftermath of the Upstairs arson, many public officials issued statements. Florida Gov. Rick Scott asserted that “this is clearly an act of terror” and that he had declared a state of emergency in Orange County, ensuring that resources were made available from the state immediately.

The shooting marked the first time that Facebook’s “Safety Check” feature was used in the United States. The feature had been used several dozen times over the last two years, including during the Paris attack in November, 2015 and wildfires in Alberta, Canada in April, 2016.

Over a year later, Pulse owner Barbara Poma announced that the site will become a memorial and museum to commemorate survivors and victims. The onePULSE Foundation, the non-profit which Poma founded and serves as executive director and CEO, fill fund the initiative.