Nikita Richardson
May 05, 2015 9:36 am

Google always brings it with their Google Doodles; whether it’s creating fun, interactive games like they recently did for the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express or celebrating the legacies of minorities throughout history. And today, they did the latter with a very special Google Doodle in honor of pioneering 19th century journalist Nellie Bly’s 151st birthday.

The doodle — which also functions as a cute, animated music video (Google’s first original song!) for “Nellie” by Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fame — celebrates Bly’s legacy as one of the first female journalists to not only make a name for herself, but to take a stand for the plights of others as well.

Born near the end of the Civil War, Bly first made her mark in the 1880s when she wrote an incensed response to a misogynistic article she’d read in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, which earned her a position at the newspaper. Later, Bly left the Dispatch to work at Joseph Pulitzer’s The New York World, where she wrote one of her most famous stories: an undercover look at life inside a mental institution. Bly’s story was serialized in the World and eventually became the landmark book, Ten Days in a Mad-House. Both launched Bly’s career as an advocate for the rights of women and laborers.

Capitalizing on the book’s popularity and her growing fame, Bly set out on her next adventure: Circumnavigating the world. Inspired by Jules Verne’s Around The World in 80 Days, 25-year-old Bly set off for her journey at 9:04am on November 14, 1889, sharing stories of her stops in countries like Egypt, China, and France with World readers along the way. On January 25, 1890, just 72 days after her departure, Bly arrived in New York City with a new world record in tow.

Years later, Bly married and temporarily retired from journalism, but she did go on to become president of a steel manufacturing company and got a few patents under her belt, earning her the additional title of “inventor.” She eventually reentered the journalism world to cover World War I and the Woman’s Suffrage Parade of 1913, where she proclaimed that “Suffragists Are Men’s Superiors” and predicted that women wouldn’t get the right to vote until 1920. As always, Nellie Bly was pretty dead on.

Check out Google’s animated doodle video below:

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