Books / History

6 completely random facts about the first Bloomsday

The events of James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, take place on June 16, 1904. They’re commemorated every year in a celebration called Bloomsday.


June 16, 1904, was a Thursday.


Ireland’s Fastnet Rock Lighthouse was just days away from being lit for the very first time.


Abbey Theatre Dublin

William Butler Yeats was preparing On Baile’s Strand for the grand opening of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.


I think that a fierce woman’s better, a woman

That breaks away when you have thought her won,

For I’d be fed and hungry at one time.

I think that all deep passion is but a kiss

In the mid battle, and a difficult peace…


European Rest Cure film

Following on the heels of his groundbreaking 1903 film, “The Great Train Robbery,” Edwin S. Porter was working on his 1904 short, “European Rest Cure,” which including a comedic sketch set in Ireland.


Judicial Statistics Ireland 1904

Hundreds of children were housed in reformatory schools throughout Ireland.

Judicial Statistics, Ireland, 1904

The degree of education (on admission) of children committed to reformatory schools is shown in the following summary:

Neither read nor write            Boys: 34.4%  Girls: 70%

Read or write imperfectly       Boys: 62.2%  Girls: 30%

Read and write well               Boys: 3.4%    Girls: 0%

Superior instruction              Boys: 0%       Girls: 0%


James Joyce went out on the town for the first time with his future wife, Nora Barnacle, on June 16, 1904. Their stroll around Dublin was commemorated 18 years later in Joyce’s novel, Ulysses.

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