The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

May 5, 1997

       Saint Of The Day:

          John Nellie Bly

John Nellie Bly was born on this day in 1867, exactly 130 years ago. She was one of the finest news reporters of her day, at a time when newspaper reporters were as disreputable as Irish immigrants. Miss Bly was, in fact, the daughter of Irish immigrants. She was born Elizabeth Cochrane in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, but she wouldn't remain a Cochrane for long. Full of gumption, she changed her name to Nellie Bly and moved to New York to seek her fortune. She was propelled into the newspaper business when she responded, heatedly and eloquently, to an article that bore the headline, "What Girls Are Good For." She was promptly hired by the editor of the New York World, who proceeded to assign his new, intrepid reporter to a series of dangerous stories -- on divorce, insanity, mashers on the streets of New York, horrific factory conditions, poverty and capital punishment. To do her story on insanity, she got herself committed to a New York State asylum, so she could document with her own eyes (and tell her readers about) the scandalous conditions in state hospitals for the insane. Her stories led to a wholesale institutional reform in the East, and she became known as one of the best reporters in the land. On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly set off, with much hoopla, on a trip around the world. It was her answer to an implicit challenge laid down by the novelist Jules Verne when he published his "Around the World in 80 Days." Miss Bly was determined the beat the record set by Verne's fictional character, Phileas Fogg, and, filing stories all along the way, did go around the world herself in 72 days, six hours and eleven minutes. Her account was a tremendous circulation builder for The World, at a time when New York had no less than a dozen major newspapers competing for readers.
MODEL: The spunk of Nellie Bly. For generations, young women have known, through the example of Nellie Bly and other women like her, that they can dare to live their own lives in defiance of others who tell them, "You can't do that, you're a girl." And that they can succeed. Times have changed for the better. But young women still need to look at the example of effective, competent women, draw up their courage, and tell themselves they can do anything they want to do.

Your Birthday Today:

May 5
Day of Awakening

Persuasive, Perceptive, Bright

Obstinate, Dogmatic, Jealous

Preachin' the gospel. If you were born on May 5, you feel it's your duty to educate and enlighten everyone around you. Regardless of your job, you can offer good advice on life and happiness. Some may question your meddling, but later they'll value your words. Ruled by the number 5 and the planet Mercury, you persevere in your work despite setbacks.

A realist. You have a well developed intellect that you use for practical thinking, not blue-sky hypotheticals. You have a stubborn streak that won't allow you to admit you are wrong. Your ability to start over after plans have derailed will determine your success.

To action! You strive to arouse and motivate others, to alert them to the truth behind the lies. You want others to take action, to better themselves, to speak up, to defend themselves, or rebel against the establishment. Ignorance and apathy in others will not be tolerated. Most of all, you don't like to be ignored.

Appreciate others. Those close to you may feel hindered by your limited view of their ability. People like to be appreciated for their unique traits and talents, to be loved for who they are, not made to feel inadequate because you think they can do better. Children are especially sensitive to this kind of treatment.

Some advice: Admit you were wrong. It makes it easier to start again and be productive. Let others alone to make their own mistakes, especially young ones. You have your own problems to deal with.

Also born on this day: Karl Marx (political, economic philosopher) Herschel Loveless (Iowa governor) Ian McCulloch (singer, songwriter) Kevin Saunderson (singer, songwriter, producer) Blind Willie McTell (blues singer, guitarist, songwriter) George Muche (abstract painter) Hans Baluschek (German social critic, painter) Queen Eugenie (wife of Napolean) Alice Faye (radio, film comedienne) James Beard (food writer, TV cook) Bernard Pivot (French journalist) Michael Palin (of Monty Python)