Barnum's Timeline

1810 - P. T. Barnum is born July 5th in Danbury, Connecticut.

1842 - Barnum opens Barnum's American Museum in New York City. His unique advertising of the Museum is the genesis of what is now referred to as outdoor advertising.

1850 - Barnum introduced acclaimed European opera star, Jenny Lind, to American audiences.

1870 - P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Circus -- the largest circus ever in America -- makes its debut.

1872 - Barnum's legendary circus train first begins traveling the nation's railways.

1881 - Barnum joins forces with James A. Bailey -- the new entity will be called Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show On Earth.

1882 - Barnum brings Jumbo, a massive 12-foot African elephant, to America.  The word "jumbo" becomes part of the English language.

1884 - Ringling Bros. Circus began in Baraboo, Wisconsin by the five Ringling brothers.

1891 - P. T. Barnum dies and is laid to rest in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

1907 - Ringling Bros. Circus and Barnum & Bailey Circus merge.  The two circuses tour separately.

1919 - The first-ever performance of the combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus® takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1956 - The final performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus under a tent takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1967 - The Feld family acquires Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey with a ceremony held at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

1968 - Irvin Feld creates Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College®. 

1969 - Irvin Feld introduces a second touring unit of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey that marks the American debut of circus legend Gunther Gebel-Williams.

1973 - Irvin Feld and Kenneth Feld become the first father-son producers of The Greatest Show On Earth®. 

1985 - Kenneth Feld becomes the sole producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey following the passing of Irvin Feld in 1984.  

1995 - Kenneth Feld establishes the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® in Central Florida dedicated to research, reproduction and retirement of the endangered Asian elephant.

2004 - Kenneth Feld introduces a third touring circus unit.  Kenneth Feld and Nicole Feld become the first father-daughter producers of The Greatest Show On Earth.

2010 - Nicole Feld and Alana Feld become the first sisters to produce The Greatest Show On Earth.  Honoring the 200th birthday of P. T. Barnum, the new production is named Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Barnum's FUNundrum!SM.

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