Photographed March 14, 2014
Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin
The History Museum at the Castle is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of East College Avenue and North Drew Street, at 300 East College Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911.
Houdini Claims Appleton Birthplace (see posted below)
Although he was actually born in Budapest, Hungry, and arrived in America in 1878 at the age of four, Houdini told his fans that he was born in Appleton. He came to Appleton with his parents and brothers because of a job opportunity for his father, Mayer Samuel Weiss, who became the community's first rabbi. Like so many other Jewish immigrants, the Weiss family had left Hungry to escape prejudice and economic depression. Houdini lived in Appleton for only three years.Why did Houdini call Appleton his hometown when he was born in Budapest? No one knows for sure, but it is likely because his first childhood memories were of Appleton, and he might have also liked the idea of being perceived as an American.
The a.k.a. Houdini exhibit at the History Museum at the Castle is chock full of photos and interesting information about this life of this extraordinary, unique, internationally-known man. It's a great exhibit for kids (of all ages) because of the many hands-on opportunities to try out a Houdini-style activity. Below are just a few of the posters that line the walls of this several-room exhibit. Enjoy!
History Museum at the Castle
The Houdini lion at the entrance to the museum:
The Houdini exhibit is located at the History Museum at the Castle,
in Appleton, Wisconsin.