Matt and I are going to circus tomorrow! Assuming, of course, that we survive the whole end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hoopla. It's the annual LuLu Shrine Circus. I've wnated to go for several years, but just never got a chance to. This year, I had a 1/2-off offer and we actually had a (semi)free weekend! So we're going.
Anyway, every year, many Shrine temples around the country put on circuses or other such things to raise money for the hospitals. The LuLu Shrine is the Philadelphia-area Shrine temple. In Hershey, it was the Zembo Shrine, and I grew up going to the Zembo Shrine Circus before I even know what the Shriners were.
So, for this week's Fun Fact Friday, here are some fun circus facts!
~ Cary Grant started his career as an acrobat in a circus
~ It is statistically harder to get into Ringling Brothers School of Clowning than into Harvard Law School.
~ Sousa's march, "Stars and Stripes Forever," was usually played to quickly alert all circus personnel to an emergency in the tent (sound familiar, Water for Elephants readers?)
~ Human cannonballs travel at 60-70 miles per hour. So the next time you're driving down the highway, imagine not being in a car. Yikes.
~ The first circus in America was put on in Philadelphia (woohoo!) in 1793. George Washington was in attendance.
~ The hamburger was born out of necessity at a circus in 1892 when a food concessions manager ran out of link sausages and instructed his assistants to grind the meat into patties.
~ July 4, 1944 - the tent at the Big Show catches fire. Dozens are injured and killed. It's the first big tragedy to happen at a circus. Six officials were sent to prison.
~ Ringling Brothers Clown College started accepting female applicants in 1970.
*fun facts from here and here