Historical society celebrates 150th anniversary of journalist Nellie Bly's birth
About 30 people joined the Apollo Area Historical Society on Sunday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the borough's most famous daughter.
Her name was Elizabeth Cochran, but most people know her as Nellie Bly. That's the pen name she made famous in the late 19th century through undercover and investigative journalism as an industry trail blazer for women.
Her work made an international impact and took her to every corner of the globe. But the decade she spent in the small Armstrong County borough is what motivates the historical society to keep her legacy alive.
“A lot of people know about Nellie, but they tend to overlook the fact that she spent 10 years living right here in Apollo,” said Sue Ott, vice president of the Apollo Area Historical Society. “We want people to know that she made a tremendous impact and she had an uncompromising sense of ambition that the people of Apollo could learn from.”
The historical society has celebrated Bly's legacy annually on the Sunday closest to her May 5 birthday for at least 15 years, Ott said.
For what would have been her 150th, the group organized a slide show presentation and showed YouTube videos that touched on her life and career.
Two Apollo-Ridge High School drama club members — Bree McNemar and Victor Valco — gave an in-character trivia quiz as Bly and Phileas Fogg, the fictional protagonist of Jules Verne's “Around the World in 80 Days.” Bly used Fogg's fictional achievement as inspiration to sail around the world in 1889.
Historical Society secretary Alan Morgan said the annual celebration is just one way the group has sought to honor Bly, who lived in Apollo from ages 6 to 16 in the 1870s.
In 1995, it had a historical land marker placed in front of the Terrace Avenue house where she lived. About 10 years ago, the group unsuccessfully filed a petition to name the First Street bridge in her honor.
“We do what we can to keep her memory alive,” he said.
“She was a pioneer and really an incredible person. It would be a shame to let her memory fade over time.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Driver of pickup truck dies following crash into New Kensington house
- Filming for Cinemax TV series to divert traffic in Allegheny Township
- FirstEnergy halfway into 72-day, $60 million upgrade of Springdale facility
- Gas industry, rural character top Winfield candidates’ list
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck
- CMU astronomer lectures to Highlands students about space in pilot program
- Indiana Township couple face illegal prescription charges
- Driver allegedly disrupts fire scene in Kiski Township
- Tarentum manager will retire, hopes to step back onto council
- Buffalo Township supervisors challenged in primary
- Highlands expands budget, not taxes