Monday, November 14, 2011

This Day in History November 14, 1889

Our person of interest today is someone I had not ever heard of before, so read on.  I think you will find it quite intriguing!

Elizabeth Jane Cochran (better known as Nellie Bly, her pseudonym) was a Pennsylvania-born pioneering female journalist.  Her early life was somewhat tumultuous, and her plan had been to become a teacher.  Finances kept her from this recognizing this dream.

In 1880, her journalism career began almost by accident when she wrote a rebuttal to a scathing article written against women choosing to have a career.  Editor George Madden was so impressed by her reply that she was offered a full-time job with the Pittsburgh Dispatch.  She refused to write the typical fashion/gardening articles that female journalists were known for at this time, and it eventually led to her resignation.

Through many adventures and misadventures, she covered many stories including a time when she feigned insanity in 1887.  After 10 deplorable days within an institution, she came out of the asylum and wrote articles that changed these conditions in New York.

On this day in 1889, she set out to break the record that Jules Verne wrote about in Around the World in 80 Days.  After a mere 72 days, she completed this assignment on January 25, 1890.  This was quite an accomplishment since she was a woman, and she traveled alone.

I invite you to read the sites I list at the end of this because the story of her life is quite fascinating.  I am grateful to pioneering women like her because after all, she showed what women can accomplish in spite of obstacles.

For more information, check out these sites:

1 comment:

  1. This was a very interesting article Ruth. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. She certainly was a woman with clear goals and refused to let the fact that she was a woman stand in her way.


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