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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: October 24 – Annie Taylor Plunges Niagara Falls in a Barrel 110 Years Ago

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On her 63rd birthday (October 24, 1901), Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She lived a comfortable life as a schoolteacher until her husband was killed in the Civil War. Desiring to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, she decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress. Two days before Taylor’s own attempt, a domestic cat was sent over the Horseshoe Falls in her barrel to test its strength. It survived. On her birthday, she climbed in with her lucky heart-shaped pillow, the lid was screwed down, a bicycle pump compressed air into the barrel, and she was set adrift. After the plunge, she was recovered live and uninjured. About the experience, she said “I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.”

It’s Monday, October 24

The 3rd Annual Murray Adult Spelling Bee starts at 6:30 tonight at the Murray Women’s Clubhouse at 704 Vine Street. There’s a silent auction and refreshments along with the competition. The fee is $25 for a team of three. Spellagains are $15. Spectator fee is a dollar. Calloway County Adult Education and the Alpha Department benefit.

Henry County High School’s Marching Patriots offer a Chili Supper and Silent Auction tomorrow at First United Methodist Church in Paris. Lunch is 11 to 1; Dinner is 4:30 to 7. The Silent Auction starts at 6:45. Tickets are $8.

There’s an opening reception Thursday for a new two-person exhibition of painting, drawing and mixed media at the Clemens Fine Arts Center at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Professors Jay and Patricia Constantine are art faculty with Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The reception Thursday starts at 5 p.m.

Use the community events page at wkms.org to put announcements on the air, and the pledge page there to make a contribution. Thanks!

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