On this day in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old school teacher at the time, became the first person to go over the Niagara Falls. To celebrate, today’s list is 5 Daredevils of the Niagara Falls.
- Bobby Leach and his Steal Barrel: Following Annie Taylor’s stunt, Leach decided he wanted to do it for himself. In 1911 the stuntman plunged over the falls in a steal barrel, and lived to tell the tale.
- “Smiling Jean” Lussier: After hearing the news of the first death of a stuntman going over the falls, Lussier was tempted to try it out himself… successfully. This time however, he changed things up. He invested his savings into a giant rubber ball that he would use to test the falls in 1928. He became the third to survive.
- Canadian Karel Soucek: On July 3rd 1984, Soucek became the first Canadian to conquer the drop. He successfully rode his barrel to the bottom, to then receive a $500 fine for performing the stunt without a license.
- Jean-François Gravelet (The Great Blondin): Even before Annie Taylor took on the natural wonder in a barrel, Gravelet became the first tight-rope walker to cross the falls. On June 30th, 1859, he crossed a 305m distance on a 7.5cm thick tightrope in a little over 17 minutes.
- Nik Wallenda: We all probably remember this one, in 2012 Nik became the first to cross near the base of the Falls, making it the most impressive walk ever seen in Niagara. He crossed the 550m cable which was roughly 5cm wide in about 25 minutes.