Today would be the 151st birthday of Elizabeth Cochran—the groundbreaking journalist better known as Nellie Bly. In 1885, Bly wrote a furious letter to a Pittsburgh newspaper denouncing a column entitled, “What Girls Are Good For” that described the working woman as a “monstrosity” and said that women were best suited for domestic chores.
Impressed by Bly’s letter, Pittsburgh Dispatch editor George Madden hired her as a full-time reporter under the pen name Nellie Bly. She was a trailblazing journalist, an unwavering champion for women and the working poor, and a brilliant muckracker. One of her most famous assignments was for the the New York Worldwhere she posed as a mentally ill woman and exposed the horrors of a women’s asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
The song is my new anthem.