Sure, we all know him as a great promoter, showman and founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus (at age 60) but here are some things I didn’t know.
- He created America’s first aquarium.
- He was a Republican member of the Connecticut legislature and the mayor of Bridgeport.
- He started Bridgeport Hospital.
- He almost bought the birth home of William Shakespeare.
- He created the concept of matinées to encourage families to come to the theater and to lessen the fear of crime.
- A self-proclaimed humbug himself, he offered $500 to any medium who could prove power to communicate with the dead in his book Humbugs of the World.
- He sponsored a law against contraception that was not overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court until 1965.
- He made significant contributions to Tufts University, including Jumbo the circus elephant.
- He never actually said “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
- He made arrangements to read his own obituary shortly before he died.
Source: Wikipedia, “P.T. Barnum”