Ringling Bros. to close, has interesting connection to North Dakota

Published: Jan. 15, 2017 at 8:45 PM CST
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The owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus says the show will close forever in may after 146 years of performances.

Executives say declining attendance, high operating costs, and public protests by animal rights groups are to blame.

While the Ringling Bros. haven't come around North Dakota in a long time, the state does have an interesting connection to the circus.

Two men working for the show died in 1897 when lightning struck their tent.

Charles Smith and Charles Walters are memorialized with this monument, also their grave marker, that is an exact replica of the damaged post, rope and chain, according to the state historical society.