Born May 31, 1866, John Nicholas Ringling would be 150 years old this Memorial Day weekend. The youngest of seven brothers and a native of McGregor, Iowa, who would have thought this imposing and highly-decorated businessman would eventually choose Sarasota as a spot on the map to develop and promote, as well as make the winter headquarters for the circus, forging the city’s elite cultural spirit and sophisticated reputation. For without Ringling’s passion and influence, Sarasota may have remained a sleepy little fishing town with beautiful white quartz beaches for quite some time. Instead, thanks to Ringling’s ambitious pursuits, Sarasota was thriving in the Roaring Twenties, a Golden Age for this state in general. And it’s entirely possible we would have never earned the title as “Florida’s Cultural Capital” without his contributions in art, real estate, and overall economic expansion….
May 27, 2016