Fun Filled Fact of the Day

December 11, 2007


On June 6, 1944, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus had their most disastrous moment.  On that day, their twenty-ton big top tent, measuring 550 feet long by 250 feet wide and 75 feet high, caught fire killing 168 people and injuring another 250, this out of more than 6,000 attendees.  Incidentally five circus members of the circus were indicted for manslaughter.  The tent had been waterproofed with paraffin that had been thinned with gasoline.

Bonus Fact: To keep people calm in times of disaster the circus band has been trained to play the song “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in order to secretly alert circus folk.

Facts were taken from the book “Darkest Hour” by Jay Robert Nash


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