Today is the 105th anniversary of an act of pure craziness - Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
"With mounting debts and unwilling to perform menial labor, Taylor was almost desperate. She wrote in her autobiography, “I didn’t want to lower my social standards, for I have always associated with the best class of people, the cultivated and the refined. To hold my place in that world I needed money, but how to get it?”
By throwing herself over the falls, she apparently reasoned.........
............there was some precedent for earning a living with one amazing feat.
Swept along in Niagara’s rapids, Taylor had little time to think of what the future might bring. In a ride altogether 18 minutes long, she was swept over the falls—“I felt as though all Nature was being annihilated,” she later recalled—into a little whirlpool, and onto the rocks. And then it was over. She was helped out of the barrel, cold, dazed, and confused, her bun still intact."