Nellie Bly turns 150 today! She was ambitious and kinda crazy in all the best possible ways. Determined to be taken seriously as a reporter she checked herself into New York’s notorious Blackwell’s Island insane asylum in freaking 1887 for 10 days to get the real story on the atrocities that took place there. What she had to say was a scathing commentary on not only the way the way institutions back then treated the mentally ill but also the status of women at the time who were often institutionalized if they did not fit into societies norms.
“I left the insane ward with pleasure and regret,” she reported in the New York World , “Pleasure that I was once more able to enjoy the free breath of heaven; regret that I could not have brought with me some of the unfortunate women who lived and suffered with me, and who I am convinced are just as sane as I was and am now myself.”
AND THIS WAS HER FIRST NON WOMAN’S NEWS ASSIGNMENT.
FUCK YEAH, NELLIE BLY.