Saturday, January 21, 2017
JAN 21 RINGLING BROTHERS CIRCUS TO CLOSE FOREVER
The circus will NOT be coming to town! After 146 years, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey announced their final performance will be May 21 at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Although sentimentalists will cry, attendance has been in a gradual decline since peaking in the 1950's. The last straw came courtesy of the Humane Society and their $25 million dollar lawsuit over elephant mistreatment. However, we here at the DUNER BLOG take a different view: How did the circus last so long? To answer this question, we went back 100 years and examined how Americans spent their entertainment dollars in the 1910's.
Thankfully last on the list are the horrid Freak Shows. Have you ever seen The Elephant Man? It portrays a man with major facial deformities who is forced the join the Whitechapel Freak Show in Victorian London. Well, the same story unfolded across the USA as well. Dreaded 'Dime Museums' were found in every major city. For ten cents, guests viewed not only deformed people, but also midgets, pinheads and the hideously ugly. A more educated American audience began rejecting the industry and the last Dime Museum closed in New York City in 1935.