American showmen and entrepreneurs P.T. Barnum and James Bailey merged their individual businesses on this day in 1881 to form one big top circus, appropriately dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth”. Opening in one of the United States’ premiere venues, Madison Square Garden in New York City, the show was an instant success, featuring all of the standard circus acts — everything from acrobats to clowns to trained animals. After nearly 140 years of dazzling audiences across the world, “The Greatest Show On Earth” held its farewell performance in May 2017, right where it all began — Nassau Coliseum on New York’s Long Island.
“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” —