Original Air Date: February 8, 2009 Guest: Charlie Carlson
When Spark's World Famous Shows pulled their 15 rail car circus into Erwin, TN on September 13, 1916, they promised to give the citizens something never seen before - the public hanging of Mary the Elephant!
Charlie Carlson joined us to talk about this horrific spectacle and some of the amazing stories that surround what a town has tried to forget for over 90 years.
A hotel worker named Red Eldridge was hired as an assistant elephant trainer by the circus. The evening of September 12 he was killed by Mary in Kingsport, Tennessee while taking her to a nearby pond. There are several accounts of his death but the most widely accepted is that he prodded her with a hook after she reached down to for a rind. Mary went into a rage, grabbed Eldridge with her trunk, threw him against a drink stand and stepped on his head, crushing it.
This can be a hard story to hear but an important part of our grim history.
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