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The Day the Clowns Cried

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2007.

In 1944, Maureen Krekian, at age 11, walked a few blocks by herself to see the Flying Wallendas perform at the Barnum & Bailey circus in Hartford. Little did she know she would be at the center of the Hartford Circus Fire, the most tragic event in circus history. The event became known as the Day the Clowns Cried, as 168 people died as a result of the fire, whose cause is still debated.


Maureen barely escaped the flaming tent thanks to the heroics of a young man who slit the tent and pulled her out. She shared her story with her two daughters, Lynn and Joanne. Their whole family stopped by the booth on their way to an Easter feast, thankful for the unknown young man who saved Maureen’s life over 62 years ago.

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