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barnum, phineas t.

barnum, phineas t. in Culture

Barnum, Phineas T. definition


A nineteenth-century American showman known for his circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” His sideshows were particularly notable, even though many of the “freaks” he advertised were hoaxes. After Barnum's death, his circus was absorbed into the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Note: According to a famous story, when someone pointed out that his customers had reason to be angry because freaks in his show were fakes, Barnum replied, “There's a sucker born every minute.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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