The United States of America is a nation blessed with wonder and beauty, both natural and man made—from the Spacious Skies of Arizona to Amber Waves of Grain in Nebraska to Purple Mountain Majesties of Colorado to Fruited Plains of Kansas and everywhere in between. Of the many wondrous places in the US, one of the most magnificent sights is a collective name for three waterfalls specifically located between the province of Ontario, Canada and the state of New York. Carved by the epic force of melting glacial ice, Niagara Falls instills awe through its natural majesty and its raw power.
On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Taylor survived, though a bit shaken, but never received the fame nor fortune of her hopes. Her feat, however, inspired other dare-devils to take the plunge. While Taylor went over the falls in a barrel, more recent methods have included a kayak and a jet ski. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived.
Don't even think about it. It's illegal...
No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border.
Related Articles:The Horseshoe Falls drop about 188 feet (57 m), while the height of the American Falls varies between 70–100 feet (21–30 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average. The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 225,000 cubic feet (6,400 m3) per second.
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