The Hartford circus fire, which occurred on July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, was one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States. The fire occurred during an afternoon performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that was attended by approximately 7,000 people. An estimated 167-169 people died and over 700 were injured.
The Great Tragedy of the Hartford Circus Fire and How it Transformed the Circus
A Matter of Degree: The Hartford Circus Fire & The Mystery of Little Miss 1565
Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout: Ringling Bros. Horror—The Hartford Big Top Fire. When the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus band suddenly struck up The Stars and Stripes Forever in the middle of a matinee performance by the Flying Wallendas on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut circus folk knew that something was wrong. The song was a traditional signal of trouble. And there was big trouble.
The Hartford Circus Fire: Tragedy Under the Big Top (Disaster)
July 6, 1944: THE HARTFORD CIRCUS CATCHES FIRE - An estimated 168 people die in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut.