Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing
By April Jones Prince
After 14 years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects that borough and Manhattan, opened for traffic in 1883. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” this magnificent suspension bridge was hailed by New Yorkers, but some feared it was not safe. P.T. Barnum volunteered to have the star attractions of his circus, his elephants—including the enormous Jumbo—walk across the bridge to prove the naysayers wrong. In May 1884, accompanied by a marching band, Barnum and all 21 of the “Greatest Show on Earth” elephants paraded through New York City to the Brooklyn Bridge before thousands of spectators. The mighty pachyderms then shuffled across its one‑mile length, proving the bridge’s safety to one and all.
Magnificent illustrations by François Roca highlight the grandeur of the Brooklyn Bridge and the long parade of elephants. The lively text perfectly captures the larger‑than‑life P.T. Barnum and the adventurous builders of the age. For children who want to know more about the building of the bridge, try Lynn Curlee’s Brooklyn Bridge.Check Availability