On this date in 1874, Erik Weisz was born in Budapest, Hungary. His family would migrate to the United States just a few years later and he would essentially grow up in Appleton, Wisconsin. After several years struggling to make a living as a magician, Erik Weisz (under the stage name Harry Houdini) would find success by presenting escapes. A master promoter, Houdini would issue public challenges, debunk the claims of spiritualists and even fly airplanes to help build his brand. He even dabbled in film making.

Houdini continues to be one of most famous (if not the most famous) magicians in history. His life and exploits have been the subject of films, plays and books in the past. A new two part movie is currently in production for The History Channel and a Broadway musical in also in development.