Tag: 1848

    Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day & Other Weird Holidays

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    BellaOnline (“the voice of women online”) has a posting about strange holidays. Apparently in some circles, the just passed March 30 is Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day. The person who posted the information, suggests using a weird holiday to write a story:

    Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day – Have these beautiful, powerful, and majestic falls ever quit running? On March 30, 1848, the unthinkable happened. Ice that had formed on Lake Erie had slowed the falls on the American side down to a mere trickle; on the Canadian side, the falls were completely silent. A lot of people came to see this amazing event. Some were even brave (or foolish) enough to walk down around where these powerful falls normally landed and gathered relics that had been lost under the falls. Thirty hours later, the falls began to move once again.

    The falls have run dry a few other times, too, but this holiday is based on the experience in 1848.

    Create a character who is living at the time when the falls become silent. He (or she) is one of the brave individuals who walk where the now-silent falls normally hit. Nooks and crannies normally not seen are explored. Artifacts from the War of 1812 are picked up. A mystery is discovered. Does your character attempt to solve the mystery, even though it could have major repercussions on her life?

    March 30, 1848: Niagara Falls Runs Dry

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    I saw a few people tweet about this yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to retweet or blog about it.

    From Wired.com:

    1848: Niagara Falls stops. No water flows over the great cataract for 30 or 40 hours. People freak out.

    The falls were already a tourist attraction by 1848, and villages had grown up on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories.

    An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something: the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water.

    Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories had to shut down, because the waterwheels had stopped.

    The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died. Turtles floundered about. Brave — or foolish — people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs.

    Was it the end of the world?

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