Wallenda Family Making History: Nik's Walk Across the Falls

June 15, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 12:14 AM EDT

By WKBW News

...

Wallenda Family Making History: Nik's Walk Across the Falls

June 15, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 12:14 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY- (WKBW) The Wallenda family's story dates back to the late 1800's back in Austria-Hungary where ancestors traveled around as a circus troupe band of acrobats, jugglers, aerialists and trapeze artists.

After being seen perform in Cuba by John Ringling in 1928, the family was recruited for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Where in 1940's the seven-person chair pyramid group performance came to be known as "The Flying Wallendas".

Family Patriarch and Nik Wallenda's great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda became a featured performer. Karl successfully crossed Tallulah Gorge on a tightrope on July 18th, 1970.

Nik Wallenda was born in Sarasota Florida, and began walking the wire at the age of four and had his first tightrope walk performance at the age of 13. Nik now has earned six Guinness records, before tonight. The last came in 2008 when he traveled the longest distance and the greatest height by bicycle on a wire.

Nik Wallenda, tonight becomes the only man in recent history to attempt to cross Niagara Falls on a wire. Check it out on WKBW Channel 7 starting at 8pm.

Sources contributing to this article include WKBW, The Associated Press, and nikwallenda.com