|Photo by Nina Leen, March 1949 from LIFE Photo Archive|
- The traveling circus on rails reached its peak in 1911, this was when a total of thirty two different shows were touring the country.
- In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge and his wife attended a Ringling Bros. show upon a personal invitation from John Ringling, even though President Coolidge had remarked that their boys were not in, but that he would attend anyways.
- Ringlingville was the original name of the Ringling Bros. Circus and it was founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1884.
- One of the worst circus train wrecks occurred in 1918 when the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus was derailed near Hammond, Indiana. Since many of the performers that were killed could not be identified, some of their graves only have markers that say "Smiley", "Baldy", or "Unknown Female". Their graves are part of a section in the cemetery called "Showman's Rest" and they feature elephant statues in typical mourning poses.
- The use of a circus tent seems to have originated in 1825.
- That famous circus theme song (c'mon, you know the one, "doo-doo-doo-roo-roo-roo-roo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo....) is actually a military march composed in 1897 by Czech composer Julius Fučík called Entrance of the Gladiators.
- The flying trapeze was invented by Frenchman Jules Leotard (the leotard performers wear is named after him) when he connected some cords to a bar above his father's swimming pool.
The Tattooed Lady: A History by Amelia Klem Osterud (Speck Press, 2009)
American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History's Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers by Marc Hartzman (Tarcher, 2005)
|These elephants are remarkable, but I did watch the show wondering how well they were treated, and hoping that they were treated very well because they did some amazing tricks (at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Show, 2010)|