Blogs by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
It's P. T. Barnum's Birthday-Let's celebrate!
7/5/2012 5:29:54 AM
How many of you are familiar with P. T. Barnum? Well, his full name was Phineas Taylor Barnum and he was born in Bethel, CT on July 5, 1810. Some of you may remember he founded the Barnum and Bailey Circus, still in existence today. But that wasn't his only accomplishment. Today happens to be P. T. Barnum's birthday so let's see why we celebrate his life.
Mr. Barnum was also an author, a philanthropist, a newspaperman, and a politician. By his own admission, he was "A showman by profession and all the gilding shall make nothing more of me." He declared that his purpose in life was to "put money in the coffers" so that's what he began to do when he founded a newspaper in the 1830's. After that, he moved to New York City and began "Barnum's Grand Scientific and Musical Theater." His musical theater was soon followed by "The Scudder's American Museum", which he renamed after himself. P. T. Barnum featured curious acts such as the Fee Jee Mermaid and General Tom Thumb. He also featured an amazing singer named Jenny Lind and paid her an astounding $1,000 per night for 150 performances.
Mr. Barnum endured a period of financial troubles, due to bad investments and a poor economy. During this time he gave speeches favoring temperance and added an aquarium and wax museum to his museum.
In 1865, P. T. Barnum served two terms in the CT legislature, as a Republican. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his constituents by installing gas lighting for streets, enforcing prohibition, and founding the Bridgeport Hospital.
P.T. Barnum passed away in his sleep on April 7, 1891. He is buried at Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, CT, a burial ground that he founded. It's clear that he accomplished many things during is lifetime and we still enjoy the fruits of his labor today. The Barnum and Bailey Circus is still entertaining people today.
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