Sunday, March 1, 2009

Barnum and Bailey Circus! A Timeline!

Ad for "The Greatest Show on Earth", 1878

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was started when the circus created by James Anthony Bailey and P. T. Barnum was merged with the Ringling Brothers Circus. The Ringling brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907, but ran the circuses separately until they were finally merged in 1919.

1871 P. T. Barnum's "Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" created with William Cameron Coup
1875 (circa) James Anthony Bailey starts his circus
1881 James Anthony Bailey and P.T. Barnum combine to form "Barnum and Bailey Circus"
1884 John Nicholas Ringling starts Ringling Brothers Circus
1891 Death of P. T. Barnum[10]
1891 James Anthony Bailey buys Barnum assets from Barnum's widow[11]
1906 Death of James Anthony Bailey[12]
1907 The Ringling Brothers Circus purchases the "Barnum and Bailey Circus"
1919 John Ringling merges the two into "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus"
1937 John Ringling North takes control[13][1]
1943 John Ringling North cedes control to his cousin, Robert[13][1]
1944 Hartford Circus Fire
1947 John Ringling North takes control from his cousin, Robert[13][1]
1967 Irvin Feld and Israel Feld and Roy M. Hofheinz buy the circus from the John Ringling North[13][2]
1971 Sold to Mattel
1982 Irvin Feld buys the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows Inc. from Mattel[14]
1985- Ringling Brothers headlines the "Living Unicorn"
1986- Ringling Brothers headlines the "Shanghai Acrobatic Troup"
1987- Ringling Brothers headlines "King Tusk" the largest elephant since Jumbo
1989- Gunter Gabel Williams embarks on 2-year farewell tour
1990- David Larible becomes first clown to be the headliner of show
2001- Bello Nock becomes headline clown with show and is named "America's Best Clown" by TIME magazine

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