Harry Houdini. It’s been 87 years since his passing and yet, Houdini, still remains the top name in magic, and in our culture. Growing up, I first learned about Houdini while I was in the third grade. Fascinated by the stories my teacher was telling the class—I was hooked and as they say “bit by the magic bug.” Since that day, I have been curious about magic and captivated by sleight of hand.
Most kids know about Houdini, and may even learn a few magic tricks. I, on the other hand, had a different experience with magic. In the third grade, our class put on a talent show, and of course, I went with magic as my talent. My parents were kind enough to get me a magic kit, and I picked a trick that involved a deck of a cards. The trick was supposed to go like this: I fan out the cards, and a participant chooses one of their liking—then I have them place the card back into the deck, and have them shuffle the cards thoroughly. After a few dramatic pauses, I tell them what card they have chosen. In magic, illusions/tricks will go wrong, and at an early age—I was about to get a taste of it.
Today was the day! I was ready to perform my trick for the talent show. Nervous and beaming with excitement, it was my turn. Fanning out the cards, I had one of my classmates pick a card of their choosing. Everything was going smoothly and then: panic began to run through my body when my classmate returned the card back into the deck. Not having a clue what the card I was, I smiled and shuffled the card back into the deck. The final reveal was coming whether I wanted it to, or not. Still panicking and not knowing what the card was, I blurted out the first card that came to mind. Waiting for the laughter of my classmates and my embarrassment soon to follow—my classmate looked at me, and his jaw dropped. Then, he sputtered out “how did you know what my card was?” I was stunned, and then basked in my “Houdini” moment.
From that point on, Houdini would be ingrained in my mind, and I still think back to that day often. Houdini had a profound impact on people when he was living, but after his passing, he has become even more famous. Houdini has inspired the greatest magicians of our time: Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, David Blaine, and Criss Angel. Houdini will be a name that people will continue to know, and be amazed by. His final breath was taken on October 31st, 1:26 p.m., 1926, Detroit, MI.
R.I.P to a legend.
Born: March 24, 1874, Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 31, 1926, Detroit, MI