To celebrate Phineas Taylor Barnum's 204th birthday, a series of vintage circus posters as forever stamps were unveiled recently at The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport by the United States Postal Service. These eight stamps commemorate P. T. Barnum's illustrious career as a circus entrepreneur of the Ringling Brothers' Barnum and Bailey Circus. Born on July 5, 1810 in Bethel, CT, he died on April 7, 1891in Bridgeport.
As the informal ring master of "the greatest show on earth," Barnum was an iconic figure in Bridgeport's history, serving as mayor, member of the CT General Assembly, advocate for equal rights, newspaper editor and visionary. His contributions to the city are celebrated each year in a gala two week long festival that just finished in June, a tradition begun in 1948
Now, on July 2nd, the museum dedicated to his contributions was the scene of a birthday party, with cake by Luigi's Bakery, and the unveiling of the new forever stamps created in his honor. The afternoon's master of ceremonies was fourth generation circus man Joe Barney, who often portrays Barnum in parades and productions. Congressman Jim Himes and Mayor Bill Finch had the honor of revealing the new postal issue.
The Barnum Museum is still actively restoring its building after the 2011 devastating storm, so it remains true to P. T. Barnum's original mission: "Instructive Entertainment." Visit The Barnum Museum at 820 Main Street, Bridgeport to experience enrichment and extraordinary exhibitions, all dedicated to the masterful showman whose autobiography, "The Life of P. T. Barnum," was second only to the Bible in book sales for decades.