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Deadly arson in New Orleans gay bar remembered 40 years later

Monday, June 24, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — Forty years ago, on June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the UpStairs Lounge, a popular gay bar on the corner of Iberville and Chartres Streets in New Orleans.

Thirty-two people died in the blaze and no one was ever arrested or convicted for the crime. Some churches refused to hold funerals for the victims while some families refused to claim bodies, knowing the patrons of the bar would be presumed to be gay.

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