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Around the World in 24 Hours

Nellie Bly's 151st birthday was celebrated with a Google doodle. Google animation by Katie Wu.

Nellie Bly’s 151st birthday was celebrated with a Google doodle that raced around the world.  Katie Wu created the animation for Google based on an original song composed and performed by Karen O.

Nellie Bly beat her own world record on 5 May 2015 when she ‘raced’ around the world in 24 hours. In 1890 Nellie set the record for circling the globe – 72 days by ship and train. 125 years later she sped through cyberspace, adorning the Google homepage as a Google Doodle across continents and countries including the USA, France, Africa, India and Australia.

It was Google’s way of paying tribute to the intrepid journalist/adventurer/humanitarian on the occasion of her 151st birthday. Watch it here.

Nellie was trending all day on twitter in the USA on 5 May, according to Brooke Kroeger, Nellie Bly biographer.  An estimated 3.5 billion internet users were exposed to the achievements of the famous reporter through the Google Doodle.

Liat Ben-Rafael, Google Doodle progam manager said: “Throughout her life and career, Nellie Bly spoke up for the underprivileged, the helpless and minorities, and defied society’s expectations for women. So when it came time to honour Nellie with a Doodle, we wanted to make it special.”

Nellie Bly 'spoke up for those told to shut up'. Animation by Katie Wu for Google.

Nellie Bly ‘spoke up for those told to shut up’. Animation by Katie Wu for Google.

Google’s celebrated doodle features a 1.21 min animation and an original song “Oh Nellie.” Written and performed by indie rocker Karen O, lead singer of the USA-based Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, the song formed the basis of the dynamic animation by Katie Wu. The lyrics encourage females ‘to stand up and show us what girls are good for.’

The doodle applauds Nellie’s iconic global voyage and honours her as a reporter who pioneered investigative journalism and burst into male-dominated newsrooms.

“Oh, Nellie, take us all around the world and break those rules ’cause you’re our girl,” the lyrics proclaim. “We wanna make something of ourselves too. Oh Nellie you showed us just what you would do.”

Says Google’s Liat Ben Rafael: “Back in the 19th century, Nellie fearlessly showed a generation of people “what girls are good for.” …We hope Nellie inspires women and girls everywhere to follow in her footsteps and show the world what they can do.”

Nellie’s 151st birthday google doodle is reported as showcasing two firsts. “Oh Nellie” was the first original song commissioned for a google doodle and Katy Wu’s ‘cartoon’ was the first to feature stop-motion animation.

All images used here are courtesy of Google.

Nellie travelled around the world through cyberspace thanks to Google. Here's her route.

Nellie travelled around the world through cyberspace thanks to Google. Here’s her route.

Nellie Bly Google Doodle storyboard by Katie Wu.

Nellie Bly Google Doodle storyboard by Katie Wu.