Before your daughter goes to school this morning, make sure she sees today’s Google logo for Nellie Bly.
The Google Doodle team went all out, honoring the late nineteenth century journalist, feminist and world traveler, with an animated video and song written just for Nellie by Yeah Yeah Yeah singer Karen O.
“We asked Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to compose a song about Nellie, and then, using Karen’s lyrics as inspiration, we created a video celebrating Nellie’s life and legend,” writes the doodle’s designer Katy Wu on the Google Doodle blog.
Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on this date in 1864, Nellie Bly took her pen name from a Stephen Foster song. Her writing career began in 1880 when she sent a rebuttal in response to a column dismissing women titled “What Girls Are Good For” in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, arguing the need for women to be independent.
Bly went on to work as an investigative reporter, eventually publishing the book Ten Days in a Mad-House on her time spent undercover in Blackwell Island’s Women’s Lunatic Asylum.
While Bly was an accomplished investigative reporter and women’s rights activist, her most famous endeavor was the trip around the world she took in 1889.
Motivated by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days, Bly shipped out from New York in November 1889, sailing around the world via steamships and sailboats. Determined to beat Verne’s 80-day fictional trip, Bly traveled around the globe – from England to Egypt, Ceylon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan – before making it back to the states in 72 days.
Today’s Google doodle celebrates not only the fascinating and ground-breaking triumphs of a woman who broke all the rules, but it offers a delightful song to remind us, and our daughters, what women are good for. Check it out:
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