The True History Of The Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus

It’s supposed to be “The Greatest Show on Earth,” but the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus has been in hot water for salacious scandals as well as the “freakish” attractions.

The Unbelievable (and Often Freaky) History of the Circus


While exotic acts bewitched audiences, performers and animals were being seriously mistreated and abused behind the scenes. Read on to learn more about the troubling and intriguing history of Ringling Bros.

Run Away to the Circus!

Run Away to the Circus!

The circus represented magic and 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.

If that was ever your dream, even as a young child, it’s likely that dream is no longer an option. The Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Big Top will be performing for the last time soon. 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.