My kids love watching the Google Doodle change. More often than not, the new designs bring up a discussion about what each doodle is commemorating. Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the master of magic, Harry Houdini himself, who would have been 137 years old today.
Magic is such a fascinating thing for kids to fool around with. I have bought various magic trick kits throughout the years and then sat through endless demonstrations as my children displayed their magical talent.
Luckily, they never were into escapism like Mr. Houdini was but they love to watch modern day magicians, like David Blaine and wonder how he can do what he does.
In case you want to explain the life of the famous Harry Houdini to your kids today, here is a quick rundown:
Houdini was born as Erik Weisz in Budapest, Hungary in 1874. His family moved to Wisconsin soon after. While he started out as an illusionist and a circus act, he became popular for his escape acts. He routinely escaped from handcuffs, chains , shackles and straightjackets.
His most well known stunt was his escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell. In this, he would escape a water tank while suspended upside down and shackled, while holding his breath for 3 minutes (Blaine replicated this stunt a couple of years ago on live television). The exact nature of Houdini’s torture cell and the way in which he escaped remains a mystery.
His name is still synonymous with escaping from extremely tough situations. New York Yankees reliever David Robertson has been dubbed Houdini for obvious reasons.
Harry Houdini died in 1926 due to complications after a ruptured appendix.
I can’t help but look at today’s Google Doodle without wondering about how Houdini would want to escape from it.