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On This Day… Houdini’s Final Performance

Written by: George Chittenden : 09 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 24th Oct, back in 1926 when Harry Houdini performed for the very last time. Houdini was born Ehrich Weisz on 24 March 1874 in Budapest, Hungary. The son of a Rabbi, he relocated with his family to America in 1876. By the age of 17 he was known as Harry Houdini and left his family to pursue his career in magic.

Houdini became a national star at age 26 and several years later had conquered Europe as well. He escaped from jails cells around the US, federal prisons, Scotland Yard, and the dreaded Siberian wagon transport which was essentially a safe on wheels. During his career he claimed that he could resist hard punches to his abdomen, which was claim that led to his death.

Houdini jumps from Harvard Bridge, 1908.

Houdini jumps from Harvard Bridge, 1908.

On Oct 22nd Montreal student J. Gordon Whitehead stepped into Harry Houdini's dressing room and sucker-punched the legendary magician and illusionist. Houdini was due to perform a two-week engagement in Detroit at The Garrick Theatre which opened on this very day in 1926. With much difficulty he performed but cut the show short and was admitted to Grace Hospital. It had been determined that he had a ruptured appendix. Surgery was not enough to spare Houdini’s life and he died on 31st October 1926 from peritonitis.

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