On this day: Blondin Crossed Niagara Gorge on a Tightrope
Monday, 30th June 2014 by Ian Brown
On June 30, 1859, The Great Charles Blondin became the first person to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope. While it is often assumed that he crossed over the falls themselves, he in fact crossed near the site of the current Rainbow Bridge. While maybe not quite so impressive as walking above a turmoil of falling water and mist, it was still a long way down (49m/160′) if he were to fall. Having started on the New York side, there is no word whether a Canadian immigration officer was brave enough to meet him half way to check his passport when he crossed the border. He repeated the stunt several times, sometimes closer to the falls, and often in a fashion intended to draw ever bigger crowds – blindfolded, on stilts, or even carrying an oven on which he cooked an omelette half way across.