“Help put Nellie Bly on the new $10 bill to be released in 2020.”
#NellieOnTheNew10 wants to honor Nellie Bly on the new $10 bill to be released in 2020. A woman who has always protected the under-dog, and fought for women’s rights, Nellie Bly rightfully deserves to be a candidate for the new $10 bill.
2020 is a big year for women’s rights. It marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 10th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Barbara Ortiz Howard, founder of non-profit organization Women on 20s, says that for the anniversary, “we need to be doing something huge.” That something has been confirmed by the US Department of Treasury: In 2020, the new currency for the $10 bill will be released, and it will, for the first time in more than a century, feature the portrait of a woman that has made a “significant contribution to protecting the freedoms on which our nation was founded.” Senator Jeanne Shaheen hopes that this change will help “young girls across the country… know that they can grow up and do something great…”
In April, Women on 20s and Senator Shaheen asked the public which female historic figure they want to see replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 note. Hugely due to conversations sparked from Social Media hashtags, more than half a million people voted from a list of fifteen candidates, with Harriet Tubman announced as the winner. Though the government has decided to keep Andrew Jackson on the 20 (a huge disappointment in itself due to the notoriety of Jackson as a terrible president and person), as a society, this signifies a huge event in history as we continue down a positive and empowering movement for gender equality.
Among the list of powerful women that have impacted history, and contender for #TheNew10, is journalist Nellie Bly. She was recently honored by Life Magazine when they named her one of the “100 Women Who Changed The World.” Bly is known for her courageous under-cover investigative work in 1887 for newspaper New York World when she feigned insanity in order to be committed to Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum for women, with the intention of exposing the abuse and even murder that went on behind closed doors. Bly experienced extremely brutal conditions inside the asylum for ten days. When she was out, she wrote an exposé called “Ten Days In A Mad-House” which resulted in a close inspection that ultimately brought positive changes to the mental hospital. Bly was applauded for her courage and heroic self-sacrifice, and she quickly rose to fame. Her innovation also paved the way for future work in the field of investigative journalism.
One year later in 1888, Bly pitched her next big idea: to take the Jules Verne novel Around the World In Eighty Days, and turn it into a reality. Her editors felt wary of sending a woman to complete the task by herself, but Bly insisted. On November 14 in 1889, she started her journey, taking along only one luggage case, and a bag of money tied to her neck. 72 days and 24,899 miles later, Bly completed her adventure and went on to write Around The World in Seventy-two Days.
Shortly after Bly’s trip across the globe, she took a step back from journalism. Most people know of Bly for her provoking writing, but fewer know her as the president of the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company, which she became in 1901. Bly was promoted as “the only woman in the world personally managing industries of such magnitude.” Most notably, she had an integral role in designing the 55 Gallon drum, which proves valuable for a number of reasons.
As a woman who has always protected the under-dog, and fought for women’s rights, Nellie Bly rightfully deserves to be a candidate for the new $10 bill.
Bly’s incredible story of her time in the mental institute has recently been adapted into a film, titled after her exposé “10 Days In A Madhouse”. The movie was a wild success at Cannes Film Festival, with Janne Kindberg, renowned movie director, calling it the “the best movie at Cannes this year.” The movie stars Caroline Barry, Christopher Lambert, Julia Chantrey and Kelly Le Brock and is set to release on November 20th.
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