AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Circus, Part 1 of 2

Air date: Sat., Oct. 13, 9:00 pm

 

This two-part series follows the rise and fall of the gigantic, traveling tented railroad circus, recounting the era when Circus Day could shut down a town, and circus stars were among the most famous people in the country. Travel back to 1793 Philadelphia, when America’s first circus was established, and witness its crash into American culture. The arrival of P. T. Barnum in 1871 transformed the trade, and the five Ringling brothers created a spectacle of their own.

 

 

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