1881: Greatest Show on Earth
Entrepreneur P.T. Barnum, became a natural salesman at the age of 12 selling lottery tickets and cherry rum to soldiers. Later, he tried out a variety of businesses, including newspaper publishing and running a boarding house. But he didn’t find his true calling until 1871. His new venture was called “P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth” which was quite a mouthful. By this day in 1881, Barnum joined forces with James Bailey and James Hutchinson, and in 1887, the re-branded circus went by the name of “The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.” Barnum died on April 7, 1891 and his circus was bought by the rivaling Ringling Brothers in 1907. On May 21, 2017, the circus performed its last show in Uniondale, New York.
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.