Saturday, May 26, 2007

Harry Handcuff Houdini reporting for duty

The website ancestry.com has launched a new section devoted to the military records of U.S. citizens from the Revolutionary War through World War II. Included among the 90 million records is a draft card filled out by Harry Handcuff Houdini (yes, he put “Handcuff” as his middle name).

Click to enlarge

Houdini registered for the draft in 1918 when he was 44-years-old. Obviously, the magician was too old to serve and was never called, but Houdini worked tirelessly during the war performing at benefits raising money for War Bonds. He also gave U.S. soldiers lessons in how to escape from German handcuffs.

The website has made much of the Houdini draft card, featuring it on their main page (below) and including it in press stories announcing the launch of the new service. Last night it was featured on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.

www.ancestry.com

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