A Heroic Event in History That Changed Lives

By | September 5, 2019

test article image
Jessica McClure Being Rescued from the Well (Bettmann Collection, Getty Image #515461414)

(Original Caption) Scott Shaw of the Odessa (Texas) American won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography for this photo, taken October 16, 1987, of 18-month-old Jessica McClure being rescued from an abandoned well in Midland, Texas. 

Most people remember the Jessica McClure story. It was about 32 years ago when one of those captivating stories happened that have people all over the country glued to their television sets for hours. Everybody was on edge waiting to see if or when they would be able to get that little baby out of that hole.

The Incident

It was just a normal average day that day in Midland, Texas on October 14, 1987, when baby Jessica and her mom were having a visit with her aunt. Baby Jessica was an 18-month-old baby who, like all babies, was curious about the world around her and was playing in the back yard. Her mother stepped inside for just a moment to take a phone call. That was all the time it took for that day to turn into a nightmare for not only baby Jessica but for her parents, the rescue workers, and even those tuning in and watching as events began to unfold.  

test article image
The Well. Source: (hermoments.com)

When Reba (Jessica’s mother) went back out to the yard, she could not find her baby anywhere at first. Then when she finally located her, she was shocked and horrified because Jessica had fallen down a well in the back yard. This well was not the type of wells that are used for drawing water up out of that are normally wide. It was actually a well casing that was only 8 inches wide and 22 feet deep. Still, the first rescue workers that arrived on the scene thought it would be a fairly easy task to get her out.