Thursday, October 20, 2011

S.A.M. proclaims 'National Magic Week' in honor of Houdini

Alaska's 2010 Magic Week proclamation 
PRESS RELEASE: Vinny Grosso, National President of the Society of American Magicians, has proclaimed the week of October 25 to October 31 as National Magic Week throughout the United States and Canada. For more than forty years the Society has recognized the anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini with a special "week" of events to highlight the charitable work of the Society throughout the year.

Each year governors, mayors and other governing bodies throughout the country are requested to issue proclamations declaring the last week in October as National Magic Week, encouraging magicians throughout the country to participate in the activities.

The Society of American Magicians adopted the idea of National Magic Week as a way of promoting the Art of Magic by performing shows at orphanages, hospitals and nursing homes for those who would have difficulty getting to a theatre to see a live performance. The members of the Society of American Magicians that participate in these shows find it a rewarding activity. Many people enjoy magic shows during this week that otherwise would not be able to do so.

The roots of National Magic Week go back over 80 years. Before there was a National Magic Week there was a National Magic Day. It all started with a "Houdini Day" in the summer of 1927, less than one year from the death of Harry Houdini. A trophy in honor of Houdini, who served as the President of the Society of American Magicians for nine years until his death on October 31, 1926, was presented by Mrs. Harry Houdini in New York City.

There were many other "Houdini Days" following, but it was not until 1938 that Les Sholty, a Chicago member of the Society of American Magicians, sought official sanction for a "Houdini Day." A friend of the Houdini's requested and obtained permission from Mrs. Houdini to proclaim October 31 as National Magic Day in honor of Harry Houdini. The plan was formulated at that time to have free performances for shut-ins and handicapped people.

The first radio broadcast about National Magic Day occurred over radio station KQW on July 20, 1938. Mrs. Harry Houdini participated in that broadcast.

Each Assembly of the Society of American Magicians is encouraged to send in a list of their planned events so they may be published on the website. Additionally, each Assembly is encouraged to submit their Magic Week activities photos, publicity received, scans of Proclamations and letters of recognition and all other Magic Week items for publication on the website and to have them included in the annual CD. Items should be sent to the Magic Week Chair, Jeff Sikora at

National Magic Week is the S.A.M.'s and the magical fraternity's way of sharing with others in a great art form that is deeply loved by those who participate in it.

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