Tardy End to War, an Old Lady and an Old Barrel


 

In a case of “be careful what you wish for” we’ve had our fair share of rain. In fact, it’s been so much that we now have set the record for the most rain in the month of October. Usually, the average October rainfall is 2.79″ and this is the driest month of the year. We are over 8.75 inches and climbing as showers remain in the forecast through the end of the week. Look for improvement for the weekend into early next week. At last check, the airport records indicated we are now less than 2 inches behind in rainfall for the year and at the NWS, we actually have an annual surplus over over an inch.
On This Date in History: The war in Europe ended on this date in 1951 when a treaty was finally signed with Germany. See, Germany surrendered in May 1945 but the country was divided by the allies. Then there was the tug-o-war between the Soviets and the West over Germany and Berlin. No treaty could be signed until all of that was settled and President Truman wanted to wait to sign a treaty with a free and democratic Germany, which was finally possible some 6 years following the end of hostilities. People forget that after an invasion and defeat of a country, creating a new country and government from scratch takes time.
Here’s the good one…on this date in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor made history. The 63-year-old school teacher became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She strapped herself in a leather harness inside a 5 foot high and 3 foot in diameter pickle barrel. She had some sort of padding inside to limit injury. A fine idea when taking a plunge over the 175 foot Horseshoe Falls. She was towed to the middle of the Niagara River and off she went, bobbing to the surface and coming to shore some twenty minutes later none the worse for wear.
Seems the old gal had lost her husband in the Civil War and in 1898 read about the increased popularity of Niagara Falls. In 1829 some guy had survived jumping from a cliff into the falls but no one had gone over in a barrel. She hoped the stunt would bring her fame and fortune. Well, she got her 15 minutes of fame but never made much money from the ordeal. She did inspire others to do the same thing though. Throughout the 20th century, 15 people have tried to go over the falls one way or another. Ten have survived. Jesse Sharp went over in a kayak in 1990. He died. In 1995, Robert Overcracker tried to prove technology was the answer when he went over on a jet ski. He died too. Before you get any ideas, its illegal to attempt to go over the falls so even if you live to tell about it you might be telling your story to your cell mates. Besides that, you’d probably just end up like Annie: lost to history and broke, if not broken.

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