Dec 11, 2008


On July 6, 1944, fire killed 168 people at a circus in Hartford, Connecticut. ``Shortly after the matinee began, a ball of flame broke out high on the sidewall canvas,'' according to the web site The Hartford Circus Fire. ``As shock turned to horror, thousands of panic-stricken people began a desperate stampede to escape the flames that flowed like a breeze across the tent top, a square mile of canvas that had been waterproofed with a pasty mixture of 1800 pounds of paraffin wax and 6000 gallons of gasoline.'' Among the dead, a girl whose identity was a mystery for decades. Police called her "Little Miss 1565" - for her morgue number.