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Roughly six million cubic feet of water tumble down the Niagara Falls every minute. But for a few months in 1969 the American falls were completely dry, and last year a Connecticut man found never-before-seen photos of the historic occasion.

In 1965, the local Niagara Falls Gazette revealed that there was an abundance of loose rock at the base of the Niagara Falls—it had collected primarily during two large rockslides in 1931 and 1954—and warned that if left unremoved, the debris could cause the falls to stop flowing altogether. After a few years of indecision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was given the task of diverting the American side of the falls over to Canada, and on June 12, 1969, they completed a 27,800 ton rock dam that halted its flow for the first time in 12,000 years.