It was today back in 1824 when Charles Blondin was born.  While the name might not sound incredibly familiar to you, he earned most of his fame right here in Western New York.  He was born Jean-Francois Gravelet in St. Omer, France and he was...the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

After being recruited to travel with the Ravel Troupe of family acrobats, his itinerary brought him here to Niagara Falls, NY.  He was immediately in awe of the falls and became determined to be the first to walk across the gorge on a tight rope.

After making his way through some red tape, he did it.  On June 30, 1859, Charles Blondin walked across a 3 inch hemp cord that was 1,100 feet long and 160 feet in the air across the gorge at Niagara Falls.

It was a feat that earned him many more trips across the falls and the nickname "The Great Blondin."

[Notable Biographies]