June 30, 2010

Tightrope Over Niagara Falls – 1859

On this date in 1859, a French man named Jean Francois Gravelet crossed the swift-flowing, rock-pounding Niagara Falls on a tightrope! (Don't try this at home, kids, not only is this almost certainly suicidal, it's also illegal! If you try something like this nowadays, without permission, you will probably be stopped and arrested!)

UPDATE:  These amazing photos are of Nik Wallenda, who did ask permission to do the same crazy stunt. (A more dangerous version, actually, because of exactly where he was crossing.) In June of 2012 he crossed the falls on a tightrope in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

Oh, and a few TV cameras and some 13 million people worldwide!

He used a safety harness because ABC TV insisted that he do so!

Can you imagine walking 1,800 feet on a two-inch wire 180 feet in the air--with swirling winds and mist making the wire slippery!?! Wallenda could barely see through the mist!

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