The True History of ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ – Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus

It’s supposed to be “The Greatest Show on Earth,” but the Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus has been in hot water for salacious scandals, intrigue and horrors as well as the “freakish” attractions. On the one hand, you’re probably wondering why so many thousands of fans have been drawn to the freak shows and sideshow circus attractions for so long.


It’s not like the abuse and absolute absurdity in the treatment of the circus members and animals has been very much of a secret over the years. Even in the very beginning, P.T. Barnum was constantly criticized for the way he slanted the truth of his exhibitions to make them seem more exotic and exciting than they actually were. Just add a few decades to the age of performers, and then use the power of storytelling to mesmerize the audience!

While most probably knew it couldn’t possibly be true, there’s something about that little nugget of “what if?” You want the fantasy…

Run Away To The Circus!

The circus represented “magic,” even adventure. You may have had a romanticized notion that when times got tough, you could always run away and join the circus. You’d be a star, even part of a family of misfits-and-outsiders, and live the life you always dreamed was possible.

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If that was ever your dream, even as a young child… it’s likely that dream is dying. The Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Big Top will be coming down for the last time this summer. They’re calling it quits… So, as we look ahead to the end, here’s what you need to know about the haphazard world of the circus.