‘Baby Jessica’ McClure 20th Anniversary

Every time Jessica McClure passes some sort of milestone, OTB gets search engine referrals to long-forgotten (by me, anyway) posts about her. Today, “‘Baby Jessica’ McClure Marries at 19” is getting slammed, prompting me to check Google News to see what’s happened. It turns out that it’s been 20 years since she fell into that well and become internationally famous.

In October 1987, the nation focused in on Midland, Texas, and became captivated by the story of an 18-month-old toddler who became stuck in a well.

Jessica McClure, or baby Jessica as she came to be known to the world, gained international attention as rescuers worked to free her.

Now, 20 years after she gained world’s attention, Jessica McClure is a wife and mother.

McClure is unable to remember how she fell into an eight-inch abandoned well covered by a flower pot in her backyard. The fact Jessica has no memory of the event may be ironic — because many of her rescuers and residents said they would never be able to forget it.

Perhaps more interestingly, she’s set to collect $1 million on her 25th birthday.

Chip McClure says his daughter is a wonderful mother, whose dream has always been to be a stay-at-home mom. She has a 1-year-old son, Simon.

But Jessica’s quiet existence in Midland could change in 3.5 years. That’s when all the monetary tributes sent to “Baby Jessica” while the world waited for her safe rescue — mature into a payment of $1 million or more. The trust fund is waiting for Jessica to turn 25.

Inquiring minds and all that.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. markm says:

    SNL did a skit long ago bout her…something like baby Jessica 20 years later. They played her up as a boozer with a cig hanging from her lip. What a hoot.