John Ringling - 12-31

Ringling Brothers.jpg

The American Treasure Tour blog is going to say farewell to 2013 by acknowledging a great circus man:  John Ringling.  The fifth of seven sons (and one daughter) born to German immigrants Augustus and Marie Ruengling, John was born in 1866, in McGregor, Iowa, before the family moved to Baraboo, Wisconsin,  With four brothers, he created the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1870.  Massive talent and ambition compelled the team to success, and the purchase of the Barnum & Bailey Circus by 1907.  The two enterprises were run separately for almost twenty years, until the deaths of Ringling brothers made it impractical to run two circuses.  They merged into the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1919.  

John Ringling.jpg

Only eight years later, John was the only surviving Ringling brother.  He established the circus headquarters at Sarasota, Florida, where he built his own personal castle, which exists today as part of "The Ringling," which includes the house, called Ca'D'Zan, an art museum, a circus-themed museum, and a number of other worthwhile attractions.  By 1929, John created an effective circus monopoly by buying up every other major travelling circus in the United States.  More than anyone else - even P.T. Barnum, - John Ringling created the "greatest show on earth."


Which of the following was NOT one of John's brothers?

a)  Albert

b)  Alfred

c)  Otto

d)  Hans

e)  Henry

Answer Below


Times Square.jpg

In 1907, a New Year's Eve celebration was held in Longacre Square in New York City that would become an indelible part of heralding the end of the old and an embracing of the new.  The name of the square had recently been changed to Times Square in honor of the New York Times newspaper.  It received its first electrical advertisement, now so deeply ingrained in images of the Manhattan site, only three years before.  

1983 heralded the end of a corporate titan.  On this day, the AT&T Bell System was forced to dismantle across the United States, ushering in the modern era of competing phone services easily identifiable today by the scores of different companies competing for phone and wireless services - although wireless was hardly an issue thirty years ago!


John Denver.jpg

Yes, every day has its special births.  Today, the last day of the year, is no exception.  On this day seventy years ago, Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr was born in Roswell, New Mexico, the son of an Air Force officer.  The military wasn't for him, though, and Henry became a humanitarian activist, a singer-songwriter, and an actor under the pen-name John Denver.  He reached the top of the charts with accessible songs including "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Sunshine on My Shoulders," and "Rocky Mountain High," while also starring in the popular movie Oh God! with George Burns.  His career was cut tragically short when the plane he was piloting crashed in Monterey Bay in 1993.  He was 53 years old.

QUOTE:  I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life - whoever you are, whatever our differences. - John Denver

Answer:  d)  Hans was not one of the brothers.  Other siblings also included Augustus, Charles, and Ida.