Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 20 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Circuses & Fairs
Mattel Toy Company. In 1971, the circus was sold by then owners Irwin and Israel Feld to the Mattel Toy Company. Their plan was to incorporate the circus into an amusement theme park in Florida. While plans and groundbreaking took place for the new attraction, financial setbacks forced Mattel to abandon the project. In March of 1983, Mattel sold the circus back to the Feld Family for a reported 22.8 million dollars.
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
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Harold Ronk. Ronk worked with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus from 1951 until 1981.
Ronk presented an impressive figure as Ringmaster with his strong, rich operatic baritone voice, his wavy blond hair, and almost always attired in his red sequined coattails, and black top hat.
Ronk traditionally started each performance with his trademark greeting, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages".
Ronk sang "Welcome to the Circus" at the start of thousands of performances over his 30-year tenure with the circus, and became known as the first Singing Ringmaster. During introduction and narration of circus events during the shows, Ronk was noted for the phrases, "And now for the first time in the world" and referring to acts as, "The most enchanting extravaganza ever conceived".
In 2004, Ronk was inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame, in Peru, Indiana. The plaque dedicated to him identifies him as "Legendary Voice of the Circus.
|What historic event occurred on July 6, 1944, during the afternoon performance of Ringling Bro. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, in Hartford Connecticut?||The Greatest Quiz On Earth
Great circus fire.. The Hartford Fire was viewed as one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States. The fire occurred during the performance attended by 7,500 to 8,500 people. Nearly 170 persons perished in the fire. One irony of the incident was that the fleeing crowd did not realize that a safe exit from the fire was no farther away than to merely duck under the sidewalls of the canvas tent. Many deaths occurred as a result of the crowd trying the leave via the tent exits, causing some to be trampled by the frantic, fleeing crowd. Tragically, some of the dead have remained unidentified to this day, even with modern DNA technologies.
|During the course of a performance, what song would never be played by the circus band under normal circumstances?||The Greatest Quiz On Earth
"Stars and Stripes Forever". John Philip Sousa wrote this popular patriotic march song in December of 1886. By act of Congress, it was designated as the National March song of the United States of America.
In show business, specifically theater and circuses, it is known as "The Disaster March". The playing of the song during a performance is a code signaling personnel that a dangerous or life threatening situations exist, and a cue to initiate emergency, orderly evacuation from the venue site. The song has been played during circus performance when dangerous animals have escaped, but one of the most famous uses of the warning occurred at the July 6, 1944, circus performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, when the canvas big top caught fire.
In the circus, the song is NEVER played unless emergency situations exist.
|In 1907, the circus operated by Anthony Bailey and P.T. Barnum was purchased by the Ringling Brothers. In what year did the two circuses first perform as a single combined show?||The Greatest Quiz On Earth
1919. Following the purchase, the circuses operated as independent shows, touring different parts of the country until 1919.
Al and John Ringling, the only remaining brothers, felt it was too difficult to operated two separate circuses, so a decision was made to combine the shows.
The first performance of the combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was on March 29, 1919, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
|During the 1880's, what distinguished the Ringling Bros. Circus from other performing circuses of the time, that aided them in becoming a success?||The Greatest Quiz On Earth
Honest and fair attitude towards the public.. The Ringling Bros. Circus earned the reputation for being a fair, clean, and family orientated show. Unlike many of the other circuses of the time, Ringling Brothers did not allow ticket seller to short change or cheat customers. Games of chance found in other circuses, such as Three Card Monte and the shell games were not allowed at the circus venues. The use of profanity by circus employees was strictly prohibited.
"The Ringling Bros. United Monster Shows, Great Double Circus, Royal European Menagerie, Museum, Caravan and College of Trained Animals". The show first premiered in 1870. Admission price for the show was one penny.
In 1882, the shows name was changed to, "The Ringling Bros. Classic and Comic Concert Company.
Once again in 1884, the name was changed to, "Yankee Robinson and Ringling Bros. Circus". This change represented the only time the Ringling Brothers took second billing in the name of the circus.
|In 1871, owners Dan Castello and William C. Coup persuaded businessman P.T. Barnum to lend his name and financial support to a circus they had already created. How many words were contained in the official name used for that circus? (Note: each initial counts as one word.)||The Greatest Quiz On Earth
ten. The circus debuted as, "P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome".
Later, the name was extended to include, "The Greatest Show on Earth".
five. The circus was founded by five of the seven Ringling Brothers. They were: Albert (1852-1916), Otto (1858-1911), Alfred T. (1862-1919), Charles (1863-1926), and John (1866-1936). Collectively they became known as "Kings of the Circus World".
The quintet was joined by a sixth brother, Henry (1869-1918) in 1886, and the seventh brother, August G. "Gus" (1854-1907) in 1889. Brothers Charles and John served as the shows supervising managers.
1884. Within ten years, the small circus founded by the Ringling Brothers established itself as one of the largest and best run circuses in the country.
|P.T. seldom failed at anything, and when he did, he used the occasion to ensure that it never happened again. However, there was one plan that failed so badly that it almost cost Barnum everything he had. What happened?||The Magnificent Humbug: A quiz about P.T. Barnum
His proposed 'model city' of East Bridgeport, CT went bankrupt. In 1854, Barnum wanted to create a clean, cheerful, and safe town where people could live and work in harmony. During his search for reputable business to settle into what became known as East Bridgeport, he contacted the Jerome Clock Company. He enticed them to move their offices from Litchfield, CT to the new city of East Bridgeport, and agreed to help them out with some existing debts. In January of 1856, Barnum realized too late that he had been conned into committing himself to pay close to half a million dollars to the clock company's creditors. With great sorrow, he declared bankruptcy and ended his dreams for East Bridgeport.
Elephants named 'Jumbo'. Jumbo the elephant was born in 1861 in French Sudan. His name probably came from combining the Swahili words for 'hello' (Jambu) and 'chief' (Jumbe) While
Jumbo was on exhibition at the London zoo in 1882. P.T. saw him and immediately purchased him for his circus, much to the dismay of British schoolchildren and Queen Victoria. After being killed by a locomotive, the ashes of Jumbo eventually ended up in a 14-ounce jar of Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter and placed in the office of the athletic director of Tufts University. The nickname for Tufts' sports teams is Jumbo. In 1962, Doris Day, along with Jimmy Durante and Stephen Boyd, starred in a musical entited "Billy Rose's Jumbo" about a large elephant and efforts to save a faltering circus.
The Jenny Lind Competition. The Festival selects an amateur American coloratura soprano between the ages of 20 and 30 in an annual contest, which, in 2010, marked its 62nd anniversary. Jenny Lind was the Swedish singer brought to the U.S. by Barnum and who quickly became one of the most beloved entertainers in the country. The 2010 winner (Jennifer Caraluzzi) received a $2000 award along with a summer concert tour of Sweden. A Swedish Jenny Lind soprano is also selected at the Barnum Festival.
Distinguished alumni of Tufts University. Barnum was a major contributor to Tufts University, a school near Boston that was founded in 1852 to promote liberal arts. In 2005, the university created the Barnum Awards to recognize alumni of Tufts who had excelled in various avenues of entertainment. Past winners include actors Peter Gallagher and Oliver Platt. The award ceremony alternates between New York ('From Ballou to Broadway') and Los Angeles ('From The Hill To Hollywood')
"There's a sucker born every minute". Who would believe that the circus business could be so cutthroat? Forepaugh and Barnum were the leading circus owners of the 1870's and 1880's and each one tried to out do the other in presenting gaudy, flamboyant shows. Forepaugh paid his talents more, but by all accounts was a miserable boss while Barnum was beloved by his performers. When Forepaugh told a newspaper reporter that he had heard Barnum utter the 'sucker' quote, he set in motion an urban legend that lasts to this day. Other accounts attribute the quote to David Hannum, another of P.T.'s competitors. Barnum never looked upon his audiences as 'suckers' and made every effort to give them a memorable (if sometimes hokey) experience. By the way, the rest of the quote is "but none of them ever die."
The chance to read his own obituary. Barnum told editors of the 'Evening Sun' that newspapers only published nice things about people when they had died. He was popular in New York society and his request to read his own obituary wasn't really that difficult to honor. On March 24, 1891, the 'Evening Sun' printed a glowing obituary about Barnum's life and achievements. A few weeks later, on April 7, 1891, the obituary was re-printed following Barnum's death.
|Old Phineas wasn't above stretching the truth when it meant entertaining the public. In 1835, he trumpeted the appearance of Joice Heth, an old, partially paralyzed and blind African American woman and told audiences that she was...who?||The Magnificent Humbug: A quiz about P.T. Barnum
George Washington's nanny. Ms. Heth (c. 1756-Feb. 19, 1836) never set foot in Mt. Vernon but that didn't stop Barnum from advertising her as the 161-year old wet-nurse to young George. She may have looked old and wrinkled, but was no more than 82 years when she passed away. Even when the public interest in Joice had waned, Barnum proclaimed that she was not even a human being, but an 'automaton' made of whale bone and old leather and challenged people to investigate her closely to prove she wasn't real. The poor old lady finally passed away on February 19, 1836 and became the foundation for all of the later charges that Barnum was a 'humbug.'