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The Audacious Adventures of Nellie Bly

In late 1889, a young reporter named Nelly (Nellie) Bly set out to accomplish what others had only dreamed of - to make the fantasy of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days a reality.  Seventy-two days after departing Hoboken, she arrived back in New Jersey on January 25th, 1890,the first person to circle the globe with such speed.   As one of Joseph Pulitzer’s prize reporters, she spent years documenting the lives of America’s underclass. The first story to put her in the forefront was a remarkable account of her experience in a “madhouse.” Posing as a mentally unstable woman, Bly spent ten harrowing days in the most infamous asylum in New York City. The horrors she witnessed and experienced shook the city and America to the core. This would be the first of many stories Bly would write as a covert reporter, single-handedly creating a whole new genre of journalism: Underground investigative reporting.  What really made her a household name was that she spent a lifetime doing things a “reserved” Victorian woman just wasn’t supposed to do.

Presenter Dr. Bill Thierfelder holds a Ph.D. in English with minors in theater, art history, and music history. After teaching Second Grade for four years and High School seniors for six months as a replacement substitute, he spent the next 32 years teaching a variety of Arts and Humanities courses at several New York and Long Island universities and colleges, including St. John's University (his alma mater), Hofstra University, and Dowling College. Since leaving full-time teaching in 2010, Dr. Thierfelder devotes his energy to lecturing, being a museum docent, and writing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
7:00pm - 8:00pm
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Fair Lawn Library