Sample The Greatest Show on Earth (Grades 4-6) Worksheet
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The Greatest Show on Earth
By Tammy Scarbrough

1     Although the circus that we know today started in London in 1770, it wasn't until 23 years later that John Bill Ricketts brought it to America. It is amazing to think that even President George Washington watched the circus during its first month in America.
2     Remember that America had not been a country for very long at this point, so there were not a whole lot of people who would see the show. Realizing this, Ricketts moved the show to Boston, Baltimore, Richmond, and many other major cities. This was no easy task. The circus had to be rebuilt in every city it traveled to. It wasn't until the mid-1800s that the big tents began to be used for the circus. They were a lot easier to take down and manage than the big buildings used before. The Ringling Brothers from Baraboo, Wisconsin, were the first, in 1884, to have a well-designed tented circus, and became known as the "Kings of the Circus World."
3     By 1889, the Ringlings were well-known and could seat 4,000 people at their circus. Adults paid 50 cents for admission and children paid 25 cents. That may not seem like a lot of money, but it was a little expensive in the late 1800s.

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