156 years ago today, the first man crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope

On June 30th, 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin was the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Born Jean Fran├žois Gravelet in 1824, Blondin began his career as performer of acrobatic stunts when he was five years old. Orphaned at age nine, he continued in his chosen career, constantly challenging himself to …