James Joyce meets his future wife, Nora - HISTORY
Year
1904

James Joyce meets his future wife, Nora

Aspiring writer James Joyce meets his future wife, Nora, a lively, uneducated woman with little interest in literature, on this day in 1904. Joyce will immortalize this day in his masterpiece Ulysses, whose narrative unfolds entirely on June 16, 1904.

James Joyce was born in Dublin, the eldest of 10 children of a cheerful ne’er-do-well who eventually went bankrupt. Joyce attended Catholic school and University College in Dublin, where he learned Dano-Norwegian so he could read the plays of Henrik Ibsen in the original. In college, he began a lifetime of literary rebellion, self-publishing an essay rejected by the school’s literary-magazine adviser.

After graduation, Joyce moved to Paris. He resolved to study medicine to support himself while writing but soon gave it up. He returned to Dublin to visit his mother’s deathbed and remained to teach school and work odd jobs. On June 16, 1904, he met Nora, whom he convinced to return to Europe with him. The couple settled in Trieste, where they had two children, and then in Zurich. Joyce struggled with serious eye problems, undergoing 25 operations between 1917 and 1930.

In 1914, he published The Dubliners, and his 1915 novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, brought him fame and the patronage of several wealthy people, including Edith Rockefeller.

In 1918, his revolutionary stream of consciousness novel Ulysses began to be serialized in the American journal Little Review. However, the U.S. Post Office stopped the publication’s distribution in December of that year on the grounds that the novel was obscene. Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, where Joyce moved in 1920, published the novel herself in 1922, but it was banned in the U.K. and in the U.S until 1933.

Joyce’s final novel, Finnegans Wake, was published in 1939. Joyce died in 1941.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Bob Dylan records “Like A Rolling Stone”

By the spring of 1965, Bob Dylan’s presence in the world of music was beginning to be felt well outside the boundaries of his nominal genre. Within the world of folk music, he had been hailed as a hero for several years already, but now his music was capturing the attention and ...read more

Leader of Hungarian uprising executed

Imre Nagy, a former Hungarian premier and symbol of the nation’s 1956 uprising against Soviet rule, is hanged for treason by his country’s communist authorities.After becoming premier of communist Hungary in 1953, Nagy enacted a series of liberal reforms and opposed Soviet ...read more

First woman in space

On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.Valentina Vladimirovna ...read more

Brezhnev is Soviet president

Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party since 1964, is elected president of the Supreme Soviet, thereby becoming both head of party and head of state.A member of the Soviet Communist Party since 1931, Brezhnev was Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s ...read more

First roller coaster in America opens

On this day in 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the brainchild of LaMarcus Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The new entertainment was an ...read more

More troops to be sent to Vietnam

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces that 21,000 more U.S. troops are to be sent to Vietnam. He also claimed that it was now known that North Vietnamese regular troops had begun to infiltrate South Vietnam. The new U.S. troops were to join the U.S. Marines and ...read more

Communists isolate Phnom Penh

North Vietnamese and Viet Cong attacks almost completely isolate Phnom Penh. The principal fighting raged in and around Kompong Thom, about 90 miles north of the capital. On June 17, Cambodia’s last working railway line, which ran to the border of Thailand, was severed when ...read more

Lee Trevino wins his first U.S. Open

On June 16, 1968, golfer Lee Trevino wins the U.S. Open at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. His score of 275 for 72 holes tied a U.S. Open record.Lee Trevino was born in Dallas, Texas, on December 1, 1939, and raised along with two sisters by his mother and ...read more

Alaskan explorer Fred Fickett leaves Army

Because of ailments he contracted during an arduous exploration of the Alaskan frontier, Fred Fickett retires from the military to become a civilian lawyer.A native of Maine, Fickett enlisted as a private in the Army Signal Corps in 1882. By chance, he was assigned to duty in ...read more

Charlie Chaplin marries Oona O’Neill

Oona O’Neill, the daughter of the famed playwright Eugene O’Neill, is an 18-year-old freshly minted high-school graduate and fledgling actress when she marries 54-year-old Charles Chaplin, the internationally renowned actor, filmmaker and Hollywood legend, on this day in 1943, in ...read more

Tsunami ravages Japanese coast

As daylight breaks, survivors of a tsunami in Japan find that more than 20,000 of their friends and family have perished overnight. The tsunami resulted from a disturbance in the Japan Trench, 120 miles east of Japan’s main island of Honshu. This deep underwater gorge is located ...read more

SLA member captured after more than 20 years

On this day in 1999, Kathleen Ann Soliah, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), is arrested near her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Soliah, who now calls herself Sara Jane Olsen, had been evading authorities for more than 20 years.In the mid-1970s, the SLA, a ...read more

Russian ballet star Nureyev defects

Rudolf Nureyev, the young star of the Soviet Union’s Kirov Opera Ballet Company, defects during a stopover in Paris. The high-profile defection was a blow to Soviet prestige and generated international interest. Nureyev became a star of Russian ballet in 1958 when, at barely 20 ...read more

Ford Motor Company incorporated

At 9:30 in the morning on this day in 1903, Henry Ford and other prospective stockholders in the Ford Motor Company meet in Detroit to sign the official paperwork required to create a new corporation. Twelve stockholders were listed on the forms, which were signed, notarized and ...read more