Monday, May 19, 2014

LINK: Did Houdini lie?

"In today’s world of no-fly lists and full-body scans, it’s doubtful magician Harry Houdini would have been free to roam the world. At least not based on the details he include on his 1919 passport application."

Click the headline to read this very interesting article about Houdini's tricky passport application at

Thanks to Bill Mullins.


  1. The change from naturalized to native born American between his first and second passports is much more interesting and mysterious. His "Native Born" passport was issued just months after the first one. And it's clearly marked that the original was surrendered so the American Embassy in London knew they were changing his documents. Interesting.


  2. It's also interesting that before the native born passport application he appears to have believed he was born in 1873. I never realized this until your book, Bill. I'm wondering if he got a look at his birth certificate while he was in Budapest? (I'm actually working on a small post about this.)

  3. Houdinis hair.."dyed black". Perry.

  4. Even in Houdini’s world, he was not free to roam around the world. On his trip to Russia, I believe he was forced to travel on Bess’s passport who was Roman Catholic, since Jews were forbidden entrance to Russia.

    1. Remember THIS POST? Houdini gave an explanation of how a Jew gets into Russia. You don't tell them you're Jewish. I think there might have been a bit of a "don't ask don't tell" policy in regards to entertainers. Russia had a Music Hall industry, and that wasn't going to work without Jewish entertainers.

    2. Ah Yes, I remember it now. Thanks for the reminder.