"City of Light"

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Jan 10 02:40:07 UTC 2003

The Making of America database (Cornell's version) shows a citation from 1847.

-----Original Message-----
From:   Fred Shapiro [mailto:fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU]
Sent:   Thu 1/9/2003 6:51 PM
Subject:             Re: "City of Light"

On Thu, 9 Jan 2003, Laurence Horn wrote:

> We've been through enough fair-based and city-nickname-relevant
> etymythologies that when I saw this little story I immediately began
> to wonder:  Is "the City of Light" as a sobriquet for Paris really
> traceable back to the Paris Fair of 1900, or should that story be
> consigned to the murky dustbin of urban legend, along with the St.
> Louis World's Fair that didn't really give us hamburgers, not to
> mention the Dana non-source of "the Windy City" and Eve's Apples?  Or
> is this one legit?

If this story is the standard one and if Barry lived in France, we would
get daily bulletins from him about newspapers printing the wrong story.  A
search in New York Times Historical shows references to Paris as the "City
of Light" as far back as 1886.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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