The day June 16, 1904, was a big one in the romantic life of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyces’ Ulysses, at least inside his head. In celebration of that day, and Bloom’s fictional perambulations around Dublin during the course of it, James Joyce fans mark the date each year as “Bloomsday.” It is, as TIME explained in 1982, “a sacred date on the calendar of all Joyceans.”
But for James Joyce, the action on that day was even more momentous and concrete. As TIME related in a 1959 story about the writer, that was one of the most important days in his life:
Joyce’s masterwork was published in Paris in 1922 and finally cleared for U.S. publication—after a long battle over whether it was obscene—in 1934.