January 19, 2019

Today in History: P.T. Barnum & Circuses


Today in History–July 5–the Library of Congress features Phineas Taylor Barnum, born on this day in 1810.  Did you know that Barnum and Bailey’s circus pigs were trained to play the xylophone? Uncover more curious curiosities by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to grab more circus primary source goodies.

Phineas Taylor Barnum Was Born from America’s Library

The humbugs of the world. An account of humbugs, delusions,impositions, quackeries, deceits and deceivers generally, in all ages. by P.T. Barnum

The Life of P.T. Barnum” New Englander and Yale Review Volume 13, Issue 49, February 1855

P.T. Barnum image set

P.T. Barnum historical newspaper coverage

Circus primary sources from the American Memory collections

Circus images

Circus videos

Circus sheet music

Circus songs from the National Jukebox

Circus legislation

Featured Source: Circus radio broadcast guided primary source analysis activities

Analyzing Primary Sources: Sensory Exploration

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