Plunge Over Niagara Falls in a Barrell, Kayak or on a Jet Ski at your own Risk; Little Risk for North In Civil War

A Soggy Annie Is Helped Ashore After Her Ride

A Soggy Annie Is Helped Ashore After Her Ride

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. After all, in 1829 some guy had survived jumping from a cliff into the falls but no one had gone over in a barrel. So, why not try? With her husband dead, she had little hope of being able to live anything more than a meager life for the rest of her days. 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. But, she did inspire others to do the same thing though.
Overcracker Over the Falls on a Jet Ski

Overcracker Over the Falls on a Jet Ski

Annie Didn't Find Her Stunt Too Profitable

Annie Didn't find her stunt too Profitable

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 broken, if not broken into pieces.

Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

On This Date in History: On this date in 1861, the Pony Express, for all intents in purposes, came to an end. What caused the demise was that on October 24, 1861 first transcontinental telegraph was completed. Until that date, the Pony Express was the fastest way to get messages from the east…generally from St. Louis….to the western frontier. The telegraph was a vast improvement.

Atlantic Cable Completed In Spite of Civil War

Atlantic Cable Completed In Spite of Civil War

What I find most interesting about this and things like the Transatlantic cable is what it says about the Civil War. There were several attempts all through the 1860’s at completing the cable, which finally was completed in 1866. In my view, this indicates that the Union had no conception of defeat. While the South was trying to figure out how to feed the people, find enough troops, supply those troops with armaments and with even basic necessities such as shoes and finance the effort, the Union had enough resources to work on a Transatlantic cable and complete a transcontinental telegraph. And don’t forget, these efforts were already started when the Civil War began.

Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

If all that was not enough, Congress authorized the Pacific Railway Act in 1862 which was the beginning of the Transcontinental Railway. What that means is that the Union began another huge project even after the war had started. As I said, no concept of defeat. When we look at what was really going on in the North during the Civil War, we find a mindset that, regardless of the outcome of the war, the North would go on and they behaved that way. Conversely, the South was primarily focused on survival. They did some negotations with Europe over treaties regarding trade that would take effect after the war or trying to gain some official recognition that may help them win the war, much as the rebellious colonists gained recognition and support from European powers during the Revolution. But in that case, those european nations that supported the colonists were already at odds with the British.

Weather Bottom Line: A little cool on Saturday with clouds eroding during the day. Sunday looks good with highs in the low 60’s.  We see some clouds with a little disturbance coming across on Monday but I betcha its too dry for much in the way of rain.  Otherwise, we will see a fair amount of sunshine Tuesday and Wednesday and seasonal temperatures.


2 Responses

  1. GAY

  2. What a brilliantly crafted erudite comment. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it made a difference in everyone’s life. Who can be the same after reading such wise insight?

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