In a quiet cemetery outside Chicago lies a mass grave of clowns, strongmen, and acrobats who died in one of the worst circus tragedies in history.
In the early morning hours of June 22, 1918, the members of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus were fast asleep in the wooden cars at the back of their train.
The Hammond Circus Train Wreck occurred on June 22, 1918 during World War 1 and was one of the worst train wrecks in US history. Eighty-six people were reported to have died and another 127 were injured when a locomotive engineer fell asleep and ran his train into the rear of another near Hammond, Indiana.
In the early morning hours of June 22, 1918, Alonzo Sargent was operating a Michigan Central Railroad troop train pulling 20 empty Pullman cars. He was aware that his train was closely following a slower circus train. Sargent, an experienced man at…
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