Welcome to America Comes Alive!, a site I created to share little-known stories of America's past. These stories are about Americans - people just like you - who have made a difference and changed the course of history. Look around the site and find what inspires you. Kate Kelly
At Niagara Falls? Think of this Daredevil

At Niagara Falls? Think of this Daredevil

As we move into the summer months, and people begin selecting vacation spots, Niagara Falls will continue to be a popular stop.Niagara Falls While the views are breathtaking and the hiking and outdoor activities nearby are notable, a popular subject by those who visit generally concerns the various daredevils who have somehow challenged the Falls.

While crossing the Falls via a tightrope has become more popular in recent times, going over the Falls in a barrel was a popular one early on.

Stunts at Niagara Falls

Few know that the first person to try this stunt was a woman. Annie Edson Taylor (1838-1921) was a schoolteacher who had a run of bad luck and needed money. She felt that she could leverage a daring act to earn speaking fees and then sell the rights to her story.

Prior to the summer of 1901 she set about carefully calculating how the barrel needed to be prepared in order for her to survive. To read the complete story of Annie’s calculations and what animal she used for a test run, read the full story here:




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