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The Kidnapping of Nell Donnelly

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On the evening of December 16, 1931, Nell Donnelly left her office at the Nelly Don factory in downtown Kansas City and headed home in her 1928 Lincoln sedan driven by longtime chauffeur George Blair. Nell's Car Shortly after 6 p.m., Nell and George pulled up to the Donnelly home but the entrance to the driveway was blocked by another car. Mr. Blair sounded the horn and rolled the window down to ask the men in the unidentified vehicle to move. Suddenly three men stormed the Lincoln and overpowered Nell and George and forced them out to a remote farmhouse....

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The Story of Nelly Don

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Nell's story is important for many reasons: she is one of the first and most successful self-made women millionaires in American business, she designed and sold more dresses in the 20th century than any other single person in the United States and she challenged the notion that women were best suited for domesticity. In 1950, when Nell was 61 years-old, the NBC Radio Network dramatized Nell's life on the Cavalcade of America radio program "The Golden Needle," starring actress Dorothy McGuire. Excerpts from the broadcast are included in the documentary film to help advance the story of Nelly Don. But...

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