The fire erupted during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey performance on July 6, 1944.
It claimed the lives of 168 men, women and children.
It’s one of the worst fire disasters in the United States.
As I was reading the book I found out my partner (Dianne) had a relative who was at the circus that day.
Shirley N. Snelgrove was there to celebrate her 13th birthday.
She survived with severe burns, but both her parents, Olive and Edwin perished in the fire.
Another survivor of the fire was Charles Nelson Reilly (who grew up to be a famous actor & director).
He was also thirteen years-old.
This week’s My Vintage Video is a clip from his one-man show “Save it for the Stage: The Life of Reilly.”
He recalls what happened when he and a childhood friend went to the circus that day.