@Politician, Birthday and Childhood
P. T. Barnum born at
At the age of 19, he married Charity Hallet and the couple had four children together.
In 1878, he founded the Bridgeport Hospital and was elected as it first president.
In 1883, he donated a sum of $50,000 for the building of a hall and museum at the Department of Natural History, Tufts University, Massachusetts.
Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Connecticut, United States to Philo Barnum, a store keeper and Irene Taylor. During his childhood he would attend the congregational church in Bethel and attend prayer meetings.
He served as a clerk for a brief period at the Universalist Church in Danbury, Connecticut and also gave speeches on Christian Universalism at Universalist gatherings.
Before moving to New York, he worked as a clerk in his father’s country store and ran a fruit and confectionary store.
In 1829, he founded ‘The Herald of Freedom’, a weekly paper based in Danbury, Connecticut that reported the growing religious oppression and militant Calvinism.
His publications in ‘The Herald of Freedom’ were against the church, due to which many libel suits were filed against him. As a result, he was prosecuted and imprisoned for two months.
He moved to New York and began his career as a showman in 1835 and founded his first ‘variety group’, ‘Barnum's Grand Scientific and Musical Theater’.
In 1841, he bought the Scudder's American Museum at Broadway and Ann Street, New York City and renamed it to ‘Barnum's American Museum’, where he made his first fortune.
In 1842, he introduced the ‘Feejee mermaid’, a creature with the head of a monkey and a fish tail. He also exhibited Charles Stratton, a dwarf, who was known by the name of ‘General Tom Thumb’.
His ‘Barnum & Bailey Circus’ hosted a three ring show called ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, which was considered the largest circus in the world.
In 1952, an Academy Award-winning film, inspired by this circus, titled ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, was directed by Cecil B. DeMille.