January 25 - 1890 - Nellie Bly Completes Her Circumnavigation
Nellie Bly was just 25 years old in 1890, but she had already written a well regarded travel book called Six Months in Mexico that revealed the problems with Porfirio Diaz's government and a series of articles in the New York World that exposed the Blackwell's Island Women's Asylum as an undercover reporter. So when she suggested she beat Jules Verne's fictional record of traveling Around the World in 80 Days, her editor let her go ahead with just two days' notice. She traveled with just one dress and one satchel. She mostly completed the voyage on a combination of trains and steamships. Throughout her trip, Nellie Bly could send back telegraphs to the New York World, updating readers of her trip's progress. It looked like she would not make it when she arrived two days late to San Francisco after a rough trip on the Pacific Ocean. At that point, Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, chartered a record-breaking train just so Nellie Bly could make it back to New York in time. In the end, she had eight days to spare, making the trip in 72 days.