Did you know that P.T. Barnum started his first show in 1835? In 1870 he started a circus, which eventually became “Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show On Earth”. It was a travelling circus and featured exotic animals, acrobats, a traveling museum and curiosity show, and music. In 1919, the circus merged with another circus owned by the Ringling Brothers, and became the “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus”. Sadly, interest in the circus decreased after World War II. On May 21, 2017, the circus performed its last show and closed after 140 years of performances.
We hope that you find wonder and amazement at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American businessman, showman, and politician. He was born on July 5, 1810. Although it is what he is usually associated with, Barnum did not enter the circus business until he was 60 years old. Before this he operated a curiosities museum, “Barnum’s American Museum”; and organized concerts, theater plays, flower shows, contests, aquariums, and more. Barnum also wrote books on his life and his business strategies. He served as the mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut as well as in the Connecticut legislature.
P.T. Barnum tried to change public opinion about theater and entertainment. At the time theaters were usually viewed as places of ill-repute or sin. Barnum built modern theaters and created entertainment that would appeal to respectable middle-class families.
Barnum was one of the first circus owners to own and use his own train to move the circus from place to place. Since there were very few paved highways between cities and states, this decision helped to secure the popularity of Barnum & Bailiey’s Circus, since it could travel to more locations throughout the United States.
In modern times, the circus had 2 trains, one for each show. The trains were about 1 mile long with 60 cars. There were 40 passenger cars and 20 freight cars.