American Experience - Season 9, Episode 8 - Rotten Tomatoes

Around the World in 72 Days

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Episode Info

Before there was a Helen Thomas, there was Nellie Bly. Known at "the best reporter in America" in 1890, Bly continuously took great risks to grab the headlines. During the day of the of stunt journalist, Bly had herself committed in order to expose the abuse of the mentally ill. Other guises included a domestic employee, a chorus girl, and an unwed mother. But it was her ultimate feat of daring-do when the then-25-year-old took on the task of circling the globe and outdoing the record set by the fictitious yet legendary character, Phileas Fogg, in the novel Around the World in 80 Days. When she traveled around the world in just 72 days, beating Jules Verne's fictional escapade, she turned herself into a world celebrity. American Experience: Around the World in 72 Days paints a portrait of a remarkably ambitious woman who, in an era of Victorian reserve, would become a household name by doing things a woman wasn't supposed to do.

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