23 Facts About Niagara Falls


Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States.

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Horseshoe Niagara Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate.

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Niagara Falls is famed for its beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power.

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Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation, and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path over and through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

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The shape of Horseshoe Niagara Falls has changed through the process of erosion, evolving from a small arch to a horseshoe bend to the present day V-shape.

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Just upstream from the falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east.

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In June 1969, the Niagara River was completely diverted from American Falls for several months through construction of a temporary rock and earth dam, clearly visible in the photograph at right.

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Pattinson made other photographs of Horseshoe Niagara Falls; these were then transferred to engravings to illustrate Noel Marie Paymal Lerebours' Excursions Daguerriennes .

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In 1912, American Niagara Falls was completely frozen, but the other two falls kept flowing.

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Enormous energy of Niagara Falls has long been recognized as a potential source of power.

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In 1890, a five-member International Niagara Falls Commission headed by Sir William Thomson among other distinguished scientists deliberated on the expansion of Niagara Falls hydroelectric capacity based on seventeen proposals but could not select any as the best combined project for hydraulic development and distribution.

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In 1957, Congress passed the Niagara Falls Redevelopment Act, which granted the New York Power Authority the right to fully develop the United States' share of the Niagara Falls River's hydroelectric potential.

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Today, Niagara Falls is still the largest electricity producer in New York state, with a generating capacity of 2.

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Ships can bypass Niagara Falls by means of the Welland Canal, which was improved and incorporated into the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the mid-1950s.

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Minutes later, Woodward was plucked from the roiling plunge pool beneath Horseshoe Niagara Falls after grabbing a life ring thrown to him by the crew of the Maid of the Mist boat.

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Niagara Falls neglected to wear a helmet to make his face more visible for photographs of the event.

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Niagara Falls did not wear a life vest because he believed it would hinder his escape from the hydraulics at the base of the falls.

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Niagara Falls's repeated the stunt several times during the same month.

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Niagara Falls carried his passport on the trip and was required to present it upon arrival on the Canadian side of the falls.

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Oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, which has carried passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls since 1846.

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Already a huge tourist attraction and favorite spot for honeymooners, Niagara Falls visits rose sharply in 1953 after the release of Niagara, a movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten.

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The 1956 animated short Niagara Fools featured Woody Woodpecker attempting to go over the falls in a barrel.

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Niagara Falls was such an attraction to landscape artists that, writes John Howat, they were "the most popular, the most often treated, and the tritest single item of subject matter to appear in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European and American landscape painting".

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