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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., Aug. 12, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The spectacular Barnum & Bailey Circus rolled into the Recreation Park grounds and a “monster crowd” was there to meet it.

The crowd watched as tent after tent was erected, including the huge hippodrome tent. The most exciting event of the day was the arrival of the menagerie, which included a new young animal star named Miss Suffrage. This baby giraffe was named by the Circus Suffragette League, made up of the circus’s female performers. The head of the Circus Suffragette League was Katie Sandwina, better known as the “Woman Hercules.”

The crowd looked on as a creature known as “The Blood Sweating Behemoth of Holy Writ” was given his bath. The behemoth was a huge hippo.

They also watched as the elephants hauled two heavy wagons around the circus grounds. 

And all of this entertainment was free. It occurred before the circus opened, during the daylong setup. The show itself featured a “pretentious spectacle” titled “Cleopatra” and an Australian woman bareback rider.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1953: The Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

1981: IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.

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