Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today is...Anniversary of First Barrel Jump over Niagara Falls

Today in 1901, the first successful barrel jump over Niagara Falls was accomplished.

Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old teacher, went over the falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt. She was unharmed except for some bleeding.

Since 1901, 14 people have intentionally gone over the falls; some were unharmed, some were injured, and some died.

The last barrel jump over Niagara Falls was in 1993, the second successful jump for Steve Trotter.

It is illegal to go over the Falls on both the Canadian and American sides of the border. If caught, there is a large fine.

Daredevils also walked tightrope wires over the Niagara Gorge from 1859-1896.

The only woman to cross on tightrope was Maria Spelterini in 1876. She crossed four times over approximately 2 1/2 weeks. She did so once blind-folded and once with her ankles and wrists manacles.

Jean Fancois Gravelet-Blondin crossed on tightrope many times, doing outrageous things while crossing including carrying his manager on his back, on silts, and sitting down part way to cook and eat an omelette.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, contains many other tourist stops including Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum (Louis Tussaud is the great-grandson of Marie Tussaud, the creator of Madame Tussaud's famous was museum in London), Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, five haunted houses and The Niagara Falls Museum.

The Niagara Falls Museum is Canada's oldest museum, opened in 1827 by Thomas Barnett. It includes a skeleton of a 40-ft humpback whale, the trunk of a giant redwood tree, and until 2003 the mummy of Ramses I.

Ramses I was returned to Egypt after Researchers at Emory University determined that the mummy was Ramses I. Before that, Ramses had been missing for 150 years and had been in the Niagara Falls Museum for 140 of those years.

What is the most daring thing you have done?

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