Mildred C. Schneider



“Man on Wire” - On the morning of August 7, 1974, I was the first person to arrive at the Public Affairs Department office on the 68th Floor of One World Trade Center. Usually, my first responsibility of the day was to call the Central Police Desk to find out what had occurred at Port Authority facilities during the night, so that I could provide information to news media.

Something caught my eye and I looked out the window. To my amazement, I saw a figure on a wire 1,350 feet above the ground performing a daring walk between One WTC and Two WTC without a safety net. I called the Police Desk to advise of what I was seeing. They were already aware of what was happening.

Needless to say, my heart was racing. I kept praying that he would not fall, as he was doing some stunts while crossing. I watched his progress for about 45 minutes until he got to the other side and was grabbed by the Port Authority Police.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget the daring and skill of Philippe Petit, a young French stuntman who was aided in this scheme by several accomplices.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. Petit escaped prosecution in exchange for a promise to stage a free aerial performance at Central Park, which he did. His daring and skill made to the big screen, in the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary “Man on Wire.”



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