Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
America’s first circus building was opened here at 12th and Market Streets, April 3, 1793. On that day the English equestrian John Bill Ricketts gave America’s first complete circus performance. President Washington attended his show later that season.
Erected 1983 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Location. 39° 57.101′ N, 75° 9.596′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on 12th Street just from Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia PA 19107, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reading Terminal and Market (within shouting distance of this marker); PSFS Building (within shouting distance of this marker); John Wanamaker (1838-1922) (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mother’s Day (about 800 feet away); Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Wanamaker (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oldest Photograph (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Also see . . .
1. Behind the Marker - Explore PA History (Submitted on January 22, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania.)
2. John Bill Ricketts - Wikipedia. (Submitted on January 22, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania.)
1. First Circus in America
In his short American career John Bill Ricketts established the first American Circus. He started out in in Philadelphia, he became a friend of President George Washington, and took his Circus on the road, throughout the East Coast of America. In doing so through horse acts and “daring do”, he gave a new continent a new type of theatre and showmanship that exists to this day. Simply stated he gave America a fun filled show called “the Circus”. He had established daring equestrian acts as the highlight of “the Circus” and throughout the beginning of the 19th century other circuses formed and followed his model. Ricketts contributions to his art blazed the trail for others to follow after him. Such names as Bailey, Cole, Ringling, and of corse P.T. Barnum, owe a debt of gratitude to the man that came before them making such an impact on our culture as to make their shows sought after.
— Submitted January 22, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Categories. • Entertainment • Notable Events •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 411 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 22, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.