Monday, April 8, 2024

Houdini's eclipse

It's eclipse day! Where will you be to see (or partially see) today's total solar eclipse? Of course, my mind goes to Houdini. Did he ever see a total solar eclipse?

As it turns out, Houdini was in the right place at the right time to experience the famous total solar eclipse of January 24, 1925. The eclipse passed through New York State and through New York City just above 96th Street. Houdini was playing the New York Hippodrome at this time. It was reported that streetlights turned on, seagulls landed in the Hudson thinking it was night, and three women fainted. It was the first total eclipse to pass over New York since 1478. (The next will be in 2079.)

The wonderful image below of the 1925 eclipse was captured by photographer Adolf Fassbender in Bronx Park. This comes from the website New York Historical Society, where you can read more about the photo and photographer.

Houdini would also have experienced the eclipse of June 8, 1918 as a partial eclipse from New York City. September 10, 1923 was another total solar eclipse that Houdini would have experienced partially. He was performing in Memphis on that day.

You can watch today's eclipse track live on NASA's YouTube Channel. Remember, don't look directly at the sun!

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