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Niagara Falls

On 30 June 1859, Jean Francois Gravelot. “The Great Blondin”, as he was often referred to, became the first person to tight-rope walk across the quarter of a mile gap of Niagara Falls. He walked from one end of falls to the other with only a rope under his feet to keep him from plummeting into the turbulent waters beneath him.

image: Jean Francois Gravelotimage: crossing the Niagara falls

A large crowd of 100,000 people watched Blondin walk on a single 7.5cm (three inch) hemp cord, half a kilometre (over quarter of a mile) long tight rope. The rope stretched from what is now Prospect Park in Niagara Falls New York to what is now Oakes Garden in Niagara Falls Ontario. It took him approximately 20 minutes to complete the crossing and to help him keep his balance, Blondin used a thirty-foot long balancing pole that weighed 40 pounds (18 kg).

On 17 August 1859 Blondin increased the risk by doing the crossing again but this time with his manager, Harry Colcord, across on his back.

Blondin made many more trips across the Niagara Falls during the following year. Each time, he thrilled larger crowds with more exciting acts. He crossed Niagara Falls on a bicycle, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow; once he carried a stove, stopped half way across and cooked himself an omelette and on another time he crossed on stilts.

Facts about the Niagara Falls

Location: Niagara Falls is located between Ontario, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is split into three major waterfalls. They are: the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Canadian "Horseshoe" Falls (the biggest one- 54 m (177 ft) high ).

Annie Taylor "Queen of the Mist" , a school teacher from Bay City Michigan was first person to travel over the Falls in a barrel on October 24, 1901.



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