Evolution of dating from 1940
In 1938 John Ringling North and his brother Henry, sons of Ida Ringling (the only sister of the five Ringling brothers), took control of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Big One.” In the 1938 season of the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey circus added Gargantua the Great, a fierce gorilla, to the show.After his death, the Ringlings purchased the remaining share of the Forepaugh-Sells Circus from his widow.In 1907, they also purchased their largest competitor, the “Barnum & Bailey Circus.” In on July 8, 1907, became theirs [Ringling] for 0.000, the bill of sale stipulating that the Ringling’s would take over at the close of the season on or about November 1, 1907.
North brought the show back from near ruin, but he fired many old-timers and hired new “Hollywood” types who ran roughshod over tradition in the name of glitz.The sailor threw nitric acid in the face of the baby gorilla, leaving a scar that looked like hateful sneer.Circus press agent Roland Butler had transformed the deformed animal into Gargantua the Great.Circus and then sold a half interest in it to the Ringlings.In 1906, Bailey, who was considered the best manager in circus history and a model of efficiency and generosity, died.
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All of these had a direct and indirect effect on the American circus, bringing new possibilities and new distractions to take audiences out of the tents.