Horrific Circus Train Crash In 1918 Killed Popular Circus Entertainers

Circus graveyard: Showmen's Rest and the Hagenbeck-Wallace tragedy of 1918 - Chicago Tribune

One of the worst train wrecks in the United States occurred with a circus train carrying 400 circus performers was rear-ended by another train and burst into flames. The accident happened in the wee morning hours of June 22, 1918, near Hammond, Indiana, and left the strong man for the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, along with a couple of trapeze artists, the bearded lady, and a slew of unknown roustabouts among the 89 people killed and more than 150 injured. The horrific accident shed light on many of the hazards of railroad travel in the early 20th century.