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On January 25, 1890, journalist Nellie Bly arrived in New York City, 72 days and 6 hours after leaving—an around-the-world record in the days before air travel.
 
Nellie Bly was already a celebrated investigative reporter when she set off on her trip, which was inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days. Bly had exposed sweatshop labor conditions among female garment workers in New York and documented the harsh dictatorship of Porfirio Dias in Mexico. Most famously, she uncovered horrific abuse at psychiatric facilities by faking insanity.
 
The technology of telegraph and underwater cable networks allowed Bly to send short updates to her thousands of readers. She rode steamships across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans; met Jules Verne in France; bicycled along a tropical promenade in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); rode a litter carried by porters in Hong Kong; and, finally, took a private train from California to New York for the final leg of her journey. 
adventure
Noun

exciting or unusual experience.

dictator
Noun

person with complete control of a government.

document
Verb

to keep track of.

garment
Noun

article of clothing.

horrific
Adjective

terrible.

insanity
Noun

state of being of unsound mind or mental capability.

inspire
Verb

to influence to act.

investigative reporter
Noun

journalist who thoroughly researches and reports a single topic, such as a crime or mystery.

journalist
Noun

person who reports and distributes news.

labor
Noun

work or employment.

litter
Noun

vehicle carried by people or animals: a bed, couch, or chair, often covered and curtained, suspended between shafts. Also called a sedan chair or palanquin.

novel
Noun

fictional narrative or story.

porter
Noun

person hired to carry baggage or supplies.

promenade
Noun

area used for leisurely walks.

psychiatric
Adjective

having to do with the science of diagnosing and treating mental disorders.

schedule
Noun

set of time tables or deadlines for appointments or completion of tasks.

sweatshop
Noun
factory that employs workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions.
technology
Noun

the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.

telegraph
Noun

system of communication involving devices connected through electrical wires.

tropical
Adjective

existing in the tropics, the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.

More Dates in History

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