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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. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    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.