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On this day in 1864, Nellie Bly was born in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania

May 5, 2023

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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 5 of May, repeating indefinitely

On this day in 1864, American journalist Nellie Bly was born in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania. Bly (born Elizabeth Cochran) is famous for her daring approach to investigative journalism, and, in particular, for exposing the poor working and living conditions in urban areas.⁠

In 1887, Bly went undercover, feigning insanity in order to be admitted to Blackwell’s Island’s women’s asylum for 10 days. There she observed horrifying living conditions and patient abuse. Her subsequent reporting on the experience brought nationwide attention to conditions in the institution and helped bring about change and increased funding.⁠

Did you know? Among Nellie Bly’s other feats was a highly publicized race against Jules Verne’s fictional character, Phileas Fogg, from Around the World in Eighty Days. Bly beat Fogg’s record, completing her globe-trotting trip in seventy-two days.⁠

Nellie Bly, c. 1890⁠


May 5, 2023
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