Nellie Bly became a famed journalist and household name in 1887 when she stunned the world was with her daring exposé “10 Days in a Madhouse,” a front page news article in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, in which Bly reports her undercover experiences inside a corrupt, abusive mental hospital.
Her article launched many investigations against the infamous Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum, and eventually caused the institution to be shut down. The world came to know Nellie Bly as a hero for her daring, fearless report.
Today we celebrate Nellie Bly’s second great idea. In 1888, Bly told her publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, that she wanted to take the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days and turn it into a reality.
On November 14th, 1889, Nellie Bly began her journey, despite most people doubting her ability to succeed. Bly famously brought with her only a few necessities: a dress, an overcoat, underwear, a small bag of toiletries, and a bag of money tied around her neck.
As Bly travelled via ships, trains, and horses, the New York World newspaper followed her closely. To keep readership interest, the newspaper held a contest for whoever could most closely guess her finish time. That person was promised a free trip to Europe and some spending money. With over one million contest entries, the world watched her every move. She travelled through England, France, Egypt, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan before returning to San Francisco, California.
She boarded her last train that took her across the country back to New York. On January 25th, 1890; 24,899 miles, 72 days, 6 Hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds later, Bly arrived back where she started. Once again, Bly was internationally celebrated. She wrote a book detailing her adventure called Around The World in Seventy-Two Days.
Fans of Nellie Bly can now watch the feature film version of her first courageous journey ‘10 Days In A Madhouse,” on the big screen. Directed by Timothy Hines and starring newcomer Caroline Barry, Christopher Lambert (Highlander), Kelly Le Brock (Weird Science), Julia Chantrey (Mama) and Alexandra Callas, the film is already expected to be nominated for the 89th Academy Awards.
10 Days In A Madhouse is now playing in select theaters and continuing to expand to more cities soon. With a “Must See” from original feminist publication Ms. Magazine, 10 Days In A Madhouse is not to be missed.
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