Big Bingo - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It must have been difficult for circuses to draw audiences to their performances, because they consistently advertised their main attractions as bigger, better and more astounding than their last biggest, best and astounding.  Ringling Brothers Circus certainly kept upping the ante with their posters.  Today's subject is Big Bingo, their elephant they advertised as "two stories tall," in a poster originally printed in 1916.

Regrettably, we have been unable to obtain specific information about Big Bingo.  He was certainly not as famous as Jumbo, P.T. Barnum's great elephant who tragically died in an 1885 accident, but he was one of the first elephants to travel with Ringling Brothers.  The poster for Big Bingo presents him as impossibly large - surely to entice people anxious to see a spectacle - and as a brute.  Elephants are known to be sensitive animals that respond to their environment. Did Big Bingo truly deserve the description of "brute"?  Unlikely, the name may have inspired more people to pay to see him.  We here at the American Treasure Tour love elephants, but we also know they belong in the wild.  That's why we celebrate them with our life-sized store animations.  If you haven't seen them, you have to come by the Toy Box!
QUESTION:  The Center for Elephant Conservation is where Feld Entertainments (owners of the Ringling Brothers Circus) send their Asian elephants that no longer perform in the circus. In which state is the Center located?
A)  Florida
B)  Tennessee
C)  Louisiana
D)  California

APRIL FOOL'S DAY.  So, you may know that people do silly things today (check out the story of the spaghetti tree hoax for fun).  Well, President Richard Nixon certainly did some questionable things during his time in office, but one of the acts he signed into law on this day in 1970 deserves a pat on the back.  The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act prohibited advertisements for cigarettes on television or radio, as well as warnings on all cigarette packaging of the dangers of smoking.  Fortunately for Big Tobacco, millions of people continue ignoring these warnings to this day.

MAN IN BLACK!  Today's happy birthday call out goes to Barry Sonnenfeld, who turns 62!  His show business career has remained behind the camera, but what a resume!  First, he actually held the camera for the Coen Brothers on such films as Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing, before he took the helm himself, directing both Adam's Family movies and all three of the films in the Men In Black franchise.  He also does quite well as a producer.  Keep up the good work, and enjoy the day!

QUOTE:  We should all relax about life because you don't have a clue as to what's really going on. - Barry Sonnenfeld

ANSWER:  A)  Florida.  It is located between Orlando and Tampa in Central Florida.  The Elephant Sanctuary, independent of any circus but caring for retired elephants, is located in Hohenwald, Tennessee, and a wonderful resource to protect these majestic creatures as well.