Tears and Trauma at the Circus: The Hartford Circus Fire

Published July 8, 2017 by kitlat

It seems that in the midst of “Everything Trump,” New England has been quietly marking the anniversary of this event, which happened so very long ago. Those who survived that are still left alive are well nigh in their 80s and must now rely on generations so far removed from this tragedy to tell this story. This person, environzentinel63, has done quite a great job of it.


The city was in festive mood.   The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus had arrived at last.  It was still wartime and the citizens of the Connecticut capital needed a diversion.  At that time the only entertainment to rival it was the cinema.  Those who chose to go there instead on that incredibly hot Thursday afternoon would be the fortunate ones.

Hartford has witnessed a number of terrible events in its long history but this would be the most heartbreaking of all.  Many of those who survived that tragic day are still alive as they were children at the time.

Circuses are no longer very popular, partly because of the plethora of alternative entertainment today and partly because of the cramped and unnatural conditions under which wild animals have been kept in order to supply oohs and aahs to a paying audience.  They spend their lives cooped up in cages…

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