Illustrated vignette of a gorilla, tiger, elephant and clown holding a globe around an ornate orange and yellow frame with black and blue text on a white background.
While there were hundreds of circuses worldwide, only one was marketed as “the Greatest Show on Earth”. The Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth circus in 1907. Initially the two shows were run separately but by 1919 the shows were combined and debuted in New York as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus performed under the big top until July 16, 1956. The cost of moving the equipment, combined with declining ticket sales, forced the managers to shift the circus to indoor locations.
After over 110 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus had its last performance in Uniondale, New York on May 21, 2017.