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1810 – Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut. He was reared a stern Puritan but became a devoted Universalist. The museum he opened in New York City featured natural history exhibits and curiosities. Barnum is best known for operating “The Greatest Show on Earth,” his circus. Barnum called himself the “prince of Humbugs” but donated funds to build a museum of natural history at Tufts University. Read more about Phineas Taylor Barnum.