Thought of the Day 7.5.12


“If I shoot at the sun I may hit a star”

— P.T. Barnum

Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut in 1810. He would be 202 years old today.

According to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey website P.T. Barnum presented “the public of the 19th century shameless hucksterism, peerless spectacle and everything in between.”  The consummate promoter, Barnum began by presenting acts in New York. Here’s a few of the live acts and curiosities the “Master Showman” brought to the public: Joice Heth — a blind, nearly paralyzed slave woman, whom he claimed was the 161 year old Nurse to George Washington;  Charles Stratton, aka General Tom Thumb– “The Smallest Person that Ever Walked Alone;” and the embalmed remains of the “Feejee Mermaid.” In 1850 he presented a more refined act when he brought “The Swedish Nightingale” Jenny Lind to the American Stage.

In 1870 Barnum took his show on the road with P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Circus. The Circus made $400,000 its first year and quickly became known as the “The Greatest Show on Earth”  Barnum also started America’s first aquarium.

Barnum lectured as a temperance speaker, served two terms in the Connecticut legislature and was mayor of Bridgeport.

Image courtesy of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus website

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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