Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary Harry and Bess

Today is Harry and Bess Houdini's 120th wedding anniversary. The couple were married in Coney Island on June 22, 1894. To mark the occasion, here's a repeat of a wonderful unpublished photo from the John C. Hinson Collection showing the Houdinis in 1924. Bound forever.

"We have starved, and starred together. We have had our little tiffs but your sunny smile, and my good (?) sense always smoothed out the bitterness. I love you—love you—and I know you love me. Your very touch, your care of me dearest and the laughter in my heart when you put your arms around me prove it. Think dear heart, twenty five years. . . .yours till the end of the world and ever after. Ehrich." 
-Note written by Houdini to Bess on
their their 25th Anniversary


  1. Personal aspects of Houdini's life are always fascinating.

  2. No joke about "tying the knot" for a man who was famous for untying them? LOL

  3. coincidence I recently read Manny Weltman's article "Was Houdini Married?" in the April 1991 issue of Genii. According to Bess in the Kellock biography, they were married in Coney Island by a bureaucrat named John Y. McKane. According to Weltman, McKane was doing time in cell 119 in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York at that time because of election fraud. McKane would not be released until April 30, 1898.

    Weltman speculates that a ward healer might have impersonated McKane and as a joke married them with a fake marriage license from a novelty store. It's possible that Harry and Bess might not have known what McKane looked like since Bess only knew him as an acquaintance of her father.

    1. Yes, that's was excellent discovery by Manny. And because no marriage certificate has ever been uncovered, there's also a school of thought that they never got legally married until years later. That their mixed religion might have caused them problems at the time. There's actually a photo in the Henning book from around 1901 (not home so I can't check exact date) that has written on it "Wedding Day." Now, that could just mean it was their anniversary. Or could mean this was their actual wedding day…in 1901! Interesting.