July 6, 1944
Hartford, Conn. – The Ringling Bros. circus tent catches fire during a performance, sending an audience estimated at 6,000 scrambling to escape. It was the worst circus fire in U.S. history, with a final death toll of 168 people.
Charles Nelson Reilly recalls the Hartford circus fire.
Here is a 1991 story by Nita Lelyveld (then with the Associated Press, now with The Times) about the identification of “Little Miss 1565.”
There is a discussion of the fire today at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, featuring authors Stewart O’Nan and Mike Skidgell, who have written about the tragedy, but it is sold out.