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Robert McNamara

Newspaper Sunday: Nellie Bly, Around the World

By January 26, 2014

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The newspaper reporter Nellie Bly became famous in the 1880s for feats of reporting such as getting herself committed to an insane asylum so she could report on the horrendous conditions endured by inmates.

Not all her journalism dealt with serious social reforms, and she is best remembered today for an around-the-world voyage promoted by her newspaper, the New York Evening World.

Seeking to travel faster than the characters in the Jules Verne novel Around the World In Eighty Days, Bly left New York City on November 14, 1889, on a steamship bound for England. She kept moving, filing dispatches by telegraph from England, France, Italy, and onward across the globe.

In America, readers paid close attention as she continued to report from India, Hong Kong, and Japan. She sailed across the Pacific, set foot in California in January, and within 90 minutes had embarked on a cross-country railroad journey.

Amazingly, Nellie Bly made it back to New York City on January 25, 1890. The New York Evening World triumphantly printed a headline: "The Globe Girdled In 72 Days 6 Hours 11 Minutes."

This week in Newspaper Sunday we look at reports from Nellie Bly's trip around the world.

Note: The links below lead to excerpts of newspaper articles at the Chronicling America archive at the Library of Congress. To view the entire page of the newspaper, click the "persistent link" on the excerpt page.

More: Biography of Nellie Bly

Illustration: Nellie Bly/Getty Images



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