November 14, 2009

On this date in 1889, newspaper reporter Nellie Bly left Hoboken, New Jersey, (part of greater New York City) to travel AROUND THE WORLD. She wanted to set a new world record and to mimic the journey described by Jules Verne in his fiction book Around the World in 80 Days.
Nellie Bly traveled through England, France, Italy, the Suez Canal, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, traveling the 24,899 miles by rail and steamer. She arrived back in New York on January 25, 1890—seventy-two days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds after she had left! Crowds of cheering men and women greeted her, and Bly was a celebrity. She had set a new world's record! And she had beat Verne's fictional 80-day circuit. However, Nellie Bly's record was bettered just a few months later by a man (a man named Train!), who traveled around the world in 67 days. Of course, with airplanes and rocket ships, lots and lots of people have since then surpassed these nineteenth century records!

What's in a Name? Nellie Bly is actually a pen name. The intrepid reporter's real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochrane. Because her mom christened her in a bright pink gown, as a child she was nicknamed “Pink” (sometimes “Pinky”).

Seriously speaking... Nellie Bly was a serious reporter who often dealt with serious issues. She pioneered an entirely new kind of reporting, now known as investigative journalism but then sometimes bitterly referred to as “stunt reporting.” Perhaps Bly's most famous article resulted from a ten-day undercover visit to an insane asylum, during which she posed as a mad person. The article Bly wrote about the mistreatment she and other patients received shocked her audience and caused much-needed reforms.

Nellie's trip was featured in a board game, "Around the World with Nellie Bly," and on numerous Victorian trade cards.

Modern “Around the World” games are available here.

Around the World with Matt I love-love-love the videos of Matt dancing badly all over the world! The video entitled “Dancing 2005” is my favorite, because it was Matt's first and he did it without having a following or knowing his videos would take off in popularity. But, then again, the video “Dancing 2006” is my favorite, because he films even cooler places, like the bottom of the ocean and on top of a very scary rock in Norway. But the video “Dancing 2008' is ALSO my favorite because there are, not just cool places, but also lots of people. Also, I was invited by Matt to be in this video when he filmed my neck of the woods. (I was too busy to go. Boohoo.) In other words, ALL three of the videos are my top #1 favorites! [Note: The website is called “Where the Hell is Matt?” But there is no other inappropriate language in the videos. They are awesome and kid-friendly.]
Try doing “Around the World” with a yo-yo. How about holding an "Around the World" party? Have an "Around-the-World" dinner. Get recipes here.

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