Hartford Library Collecting Memories Of Circus Fire

by Categorized: City Activities, Hartford Public Library Date:

The Hartford Public Library has started a scrapbook project to collect memories from the Hartford circus fire, Nicole Perez reports. Dozens died in that 1944 disaster, including David Fitzgerald’s 3-year-old brother, James.

Fitzgerald “remembers the 95-degree temperatures on July 6, 1944,” Perez writes. “He remembers jumping on a crowded bus with his brother, mother and next-door neighbors to go to the circus. He remembers sitting high on the wooden bleachers, and seeing orange flames to his left.”

Now 75, Fitzgerald attended the library’s event on Saturday to begin the scrapbook that will be presented next year to coincide with the fire’s 70th anniversary.

Do you have memories of the circus fire? Librarians invite you to write them down in the scrapbook located in the Hartford History Center on the downtown library’s third floor. If you’re out of state and can’t stop by, try contacting staff on the library’s Facebook page.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

2 thoughts on “Hartford Library Collecting Memories Of Circus Fire

  1. Norman Garber

    We lived in the neighborhood of the Hartford circus fire, on Westland Ave. My mother, Florence Garber, had initially planned to go to the circus that day, she told me years later, but she wasn’t feeling well that day, and chose not to take the walk. She was almost 8 months pregnant with me. She also chose never to take me to a circus growing up because of that tragic day. My first circus experience came as an adult, in the former Soviet Union, when I was 35 years old.

    Norman Garber
    Athens, Ohio

Comments are closed.