We're a lot more respectful of disabilities and medical conditions nowadays, but once upon a time they were much more widely exploited for entertainment and profit. Check out these 10 bizarre circus sideshows!
There's nothing quite like the circus, is there? The exotic animals, death-defying stunts and funny clowns have entertained folks for generations. But how did modern circuses get started? You have to go back to the 1700s.
Seems like the circus has been around forever. The circus doesn't date that far back, but many troupes operating today started in the 19th century. So which is the longest-running one? It depends on whom you ask.
The spotlight goes up on a man, alone except for a large aluminum ring that he grips with one hand. With perfect timing, he steps in, out and around the spinning and wobbling ring in a well-choreographed dance. How does he do it?
Born to be a showman, P.T. Barnum overcame a number of obstacles (including numerous fires, the loss of several fortunes and one dead elephant) in order to make a buck. Who was this man who was so determined to create the greatest show on Earth?
For some, being a circus performer is a job; for others, it is a way of life. Many circus families stretch back seven or eight generations. Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today?