Today is October 24. Do you know what happened in history on this day?
In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, officially ending the Thirty Years War in Europe.
In 1861, Western Union completed the first transcontinental telegraph line, stretching from Washington, D.C. to California, with a telegram to President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1969, Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat diamond ring for $1.5 million dollars and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opened in theaters across the United States.
In 2003, the Concorde, a turbojet-powered supersonic aircraft, completed its final flight.
But, did you also know that on October 24, 1901 Annie Edson Taylor became the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel…and survive??
Annie Taylor was a schoolteacher from Michigan in desperate need of money. After losing her husband David Taylor during the Civil War and being unemployed, Annie was concerned with the financial standing of her future. Desperate to not spend her remaining years in the poorhouse, Annie secured herself inside a 4 ½-foot oak barrel dubbed “The Queen of the Mist” and headed over Niagara Falls. Due to the natural currents and flow of the Niagara River, Annie emerged with minor injuries near the Canadian site, Horseshoe Falls. Although she enjoyed public adoration and speaking engagements in the weeks following her daredevil stunt, Annie eventually died in poverty in an infirmary in Niagara County, N.Y. While she did not receive the fame and money she had hoped for, Annie’s death-defying achievement has been memorialized through film, written word, dramatic recreations, and musicals.
The Fall by Emma Donoghue: http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/books/fall-by-emma-donoghue
Niagara: Miracles, Myths, and Magic IMAX film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091626/
Queen of the Mist musical: http://www.transportgroup.org/season/now-playing
For more information about Annie Edson Taylor or to check out other tales of daredevil stunts, feel free to stop by the library!
Barrell Tony, “Unsung Hero.” The Sunday Times (August 23, 2009): 7. Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCOhost (accessed October 20, 2011).
Joseph Nathan Kane, Famous First Facts (New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1981), 432, 1181.
United Press International, “The Almanac — weekly.” UPI Quirks in the News (October 18, 2011): Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCOhost (accessed October 21, 2011).
GR. “Topics today.” Newcastle Herald, The (includes the Central Coast Herald), October 23, 2007., pg. 9, Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCOhost (accessed October 21, 2011).