Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Immigrant of the Day: Harry Houdini (Hungary)

Harry Houdini, the most famous "escape artist" in America, was born in Hungary. He came to the U.S. with his family at the tender age of four. When he was eight, his father became a U.S. citizen. This was in 1882 and, while I don't know the historical laws on the books at that time, I'm guessing that's when Harry also became a U.S. citizen.

I've got Harry on the brain this week after seeing the below thread from one of my Twitter favorites, the indomitable Jennifer Mendelsohn (she of #resistance genealogy). Apparently Harry lied on his WWI draft registration, attesting that he was born in the United States. Ooof. As Jennifer points out later in the thread, Harry repeated this untruth on "at least five notarized passport applications."

This is DEFINITELY going to be a real-o-thetical in a future class.


Teaching Resources | Permalink


Post a comment