Today in History: July 10

Today is the semi-official anniversary of the founding of the city of Dublin, Ireland, which is said to have happened on this date in 988.

Of course, there had been a large settlement on the River Liffey for centuries by 988, and some historians think that the mention of a place called “Eblana polis” in the Geographia by Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer and cartographer, written around the year 140 AD, is a mention of a settlement with a similar name to the modern name on what is now the land that Dublin occupies. Other historians argue that this theory is incorrect.

It is conceivable that Dublin could celebrate its 2000th anniversary any year that its citizens choose to do so. In 1988, the city celebrated its 1000th birthday instead. It had been a thousand years since a Norse king, Glun Iarainn, officially recognized Gaelic control of the city, in the person of King Máel Sechnaill Mór. What happened in 988 didn’t stay in 988, however, as Máel Sechnaill attacked Dublin in 989, something he would not have had to do if he was the recognized ruler.

For almost as long as it has existed, Dublin has been recognized as one of the planet’s greatest cities.

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“Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence.”—Meher Baba

The Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba ceased speaking on this date in 1925. He employed alphabet boards and hand gestures to communicate for the remaining 44 years of his life, giving talks with the help of assistants. For those who follow Meher Baba, today is known as Silence Day, and they do not speak. (Pete Townshend of The Who is perhaps the best-known adherent, having written several Meher Baba-inspired songs—”Baba O’Reilly,” chief among them.)

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Camille Pissarro was born on this date in 1830. Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 on this date. “Tesla,” by They Might Be Giants:

 
Marcel Proust was born on this date in 1871. Carl Orff was born in 1895 on this date. Terry-Thomas was born in 1911 on this date. David Brinkley was born on this date in 1920. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was born on this date in 1921. Ronnie James Dio was born 74 years ago today. Arthur Ashe was born on this date in 1943.

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Jake LaMotta is 95 today. Mayor David Dinkins is 89. Jerry Herman is 85. Ron Glass is 71. Sue Lyon is 70 today. Arlo Guthrie is 69. Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans” sung by Arlo Guthrie:

 
Andre Dawson is 62. Neil Tennant is 62. Béla Fleck is 58. Sofia Vergara is 44. Jessica Simpson is 36.

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