The New Houdini Chronology documents every week of Houdini's life with known performances and notable events. On this page you can view a rotation of sample years as I continue to build on it. My plan is to eventually offer the complete chronology as a book. I hope you'll find this a useful reseach tool and enjoy the previews!

1926

Weeks run Monday to Sunday.
Last update: 8/19/19

Dec. 28-Jan. 3: Teller's Shubert Theater, Brooklyn, NY - 3 Shows in One. [2]-unverified
➤ Sun., Jan. 3: Papers report Houdini breaks ankle. Performs show with cane. (Likely happened during last days of 1925.) [2]
Jan. 4-10: National Theater, New York, NY - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
Jan. 11-17: National Theater, New York, NY - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
Jan. 18-24: Shubert Belasco Theater, Washington, D.C., MD - 3 Shows in One. [1][2][6]
Jan. 25-31: Teller's Shubert Theater, Brooklyn, NY - 3 Shows in One. [2]

Feb. 1-7: Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia, PA - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
Feb. 8-14: Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia PA - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
Feb. 15-21: Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia PA - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Sun., Feb. 21: Houdini nearly causes "riot"in Broad Street Theater while debating J. Malcolm Bird. [2]
Feb. 22-28: Orpheum Theater, Reading, PA - 3 Shows in One (22nd, 23rd only). [2]
➤ Fri., Feb. 26: Houdini testifies before the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. in support of H.R. 8989, bill seeking to outlaw Fortune Telling in District of Columbia. [2]

March 1-7: Bronx Opera House, New York, NY - 3 Shows in One. [1][5]
March 8-14: Princess, Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
March 15-21: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
March 22-28: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
March 29-April 4: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Houdini card flourishes footage plays at Royal Theater, Kansas City as Velvet Fingers. [2]
➤ Thurs., April 1: Houdini files patent for "Figure Toy (Design)". No. 70,368. [12]

April 5-11: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Tues., April 6: Houdini celebrates 52nd birthday.
April 12-18: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Fri., April 16: Annie M. Benninghofen, trumpet medium, admits to using trickery for 30 years. Joins Houdini show and gives demonstrations. [2]
April 19-25: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Thurs., April 22: Houdini attends "Fourth Annual Mystery Show" put in by S.A.M. Chicago Assembly No. at Kimball Hall. [6]
April 26-May 2: Princess Theater, Chicago, IL - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]

May 3-9: Goodyear Theater, Akron, OH (3rd-5th) / Majestic Theater, Harrisburg, PA (6th-9th) [1][2]
➤ Tues., May 4: Houdini speaks at Lions Club meeting at Masonic temple. [2]
➤ Wed., May 5: Challenged by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to escape packing case. [5]
May 10-16:
May 17-23:
➤ Tues., May 18: Houdini again testifies before the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. in support of H.R. 8989. Rose Mackenberg also takes stand. [2][9]
➤ Wed., May 19: Houdini delivers affidavit to Everett Sanders, secretary of President Coolidge, at White House. [2]
➤ Thurs., May 20: Houdini testifies before the House of Representatives. Does slates trick. [2][9]
➤ Fri., May 21: Houdini testifies at House of Representatives hearings. Bill H.R. 8989 does not pass. [2][9]
May 24-30:
May 31-June 6:
➤ Fri., June 4: Houdini presides over annual dinner of S.A.M. [2]

June 7-13:
June 14-20:
June 21-27:
➤ Sun., June 27: Houdini appears at “Theatrical & Sports Field Day” benefit for the United Jewish Campaign at Polo Grounds, New York, NY. [2]
June 28-July 4:

July 5-9:
July 12-18:
July 19-25:
➤ Fri., July 23: Papers report Rahman Bey remains in sealed casket for one hour. Says, "Where's Houdini?" on emerging. [2]
July 26-Aug. 1:

Aug. 2-8:
➤ [n.d.]: Houdini conducts first private test in air-tight casket un-submerged. Remains one hour, ten minutes. [5]
➤ Wed., Aug. 4: Houdini conducts second private test in submerged casket. Remains one hour, thirteen minutes. [5]
✪ ➤ Thurs., Aug. 5: Public test in Hotel Shelton swimming pool. Remains one hour, thirty-one minutes. [2][3][4]
Aug. 9-15:
Aug. 16-22:
➤ Fri., Aug. 20: Houdini places in his safe a packet of photographic negatives for use in a possible biography along with a note for Bess to use or burn as she sees fit. [4]
Aug. 23-29:
Aug. 30-Sept. 5: Lyceum Theater, Paterson, NJ - 3 Shows in One (Sept. 2-4). [1][2][6]

Sept. 6-12:
➤ Fri., Sept. 10: Papers announce $25,000 lawsuit against Houdini by spiritualist George B. Cutter. [2]
Sept. 13-19: Shubert Majestic Theater, Boston, MA - 3 Shows in One [1][2][4]
✪ ➤ New feats include Flight of Time, Radio 1950, Slicing a Girl in Eights, and Buried Alive.
➤ Sat., Sept. 18: Houdini considers another sitting with Margery, who is now producing ectoplasm. [4][5]
Sept. 20-26: Plymouth Theater, Boston, MA - 3 Shows in One [6]-need second source.
Sept. 27-Oct. 3: Worcester Opera House, Worcester, MA - 3 Shows in One (does Buried Alive). [2]
➤ Tues., Sept. 28: Submerged casket test at Worcester YMCA pool. Remains one hour, eleven minutes. [2]
➤ Thurs., Sept. 30: Summerfield's sealed casket test. Remains one hour. Houdini's last outdoor stunt. [2]

Oct. 4-10: Providence Opera House, Providence, RI - 3 Shows in One (opens Oct. 3). [1][6]
➤ Mon., Oct. 5: Houdini hires Elliot Sanford as private secretary. [5]
➤ Thurs., Oct. 7: Bess is struck down with ptomaine poisoning. [11]
➤ Thurs., Oct. 7: Film Daily reports incorporation of Houdini Attractions, Inc. for $10,000. "Magical entertainment, pictures and other amusement features." [2]
➤ Fri-Sat., Oct. 8-9: Houdini sits up all night with ill Bess. Sends her ahead to Albany with show. Takes overnight train to New York City. [4][11]
➤ Sun., Oct. 10: Houdini attends to business in New York City. Takes overnight train to Albany. [11]
Oct. 11-17: Capitol Theater, Albany NY (11th, 12th, 13th) / Van Curler Theater, Schenectady, NY (14th, 15th-17th) - 3 Shows in One. [1][2][4]
➤ Mon., Oct. 11: Houdini breaks ankle while doing the Water Torture Cell in Albany. X-rayed at Memorial Hospital. [2][4]
➤ Thurs., Oct. 14: Houdini lectures in Washburn Hall at Union College in Schenectady at 10 AM. [2]
➤ Thurs., Oct. 14: Houdini gives talk on WGY radio in Schenectady at 2:20 PM. Photographed. [2][5]
Oct. 18-24: Princess Theater, Montreal, Canada - 3 Shows in One. [1][2]
➤ Tues., Oct. 19: Houdini lectures at police headquarters in morning and McGill University in afternoon. Pickleman punch. [4][8]
➤ Tues., Oct. 19: Houdini does radio interview after evening show (11 PM). [4]
➤ Weds., Oct. 20: Houdini dictates "Keynote to Success" article to secretary Elliot Sanford "in a hurried manner." [13]
➤ Fri., Oct. 22: Houdini punched in the stomach by J. Gordon Whitehead in dressing room of Princess Theater. [3][4]
➤ Sat., Oct. 23: Houdini leaves Montreal at 11:00 PM aboard overnight train to Detroit. Doctor wired from London, Ontario. [8]
➤ Sun., Oct. 24: Houdini gives his final performance at Garrick Theater, Detroit, MI. Taken to hospital at 3 AM. [3]

Oct. 25-31: Houdini in Grace Hospital.
➤ Mon., Oct. 25: Houdini undergoes operation. Appendix removed. [2]
➤ Tues., Oct. 26: Papers report Houdini fighting for life. Nathan, Theo and Gladys arrive in Detroit. [2]
➤ Wed., Oct. 27: Doctors report condition unchanged. [2]
➤ Thurs., Oct. 28: Doctors report Houdini shows slight improvement. [2]
➤ Fri., Oct. 29: Doctors report Houdini has relapsed. Experimental serum is administered. Second operation performed for paralysis of the bowels. [2][4]
➤ Sat., Oct. 30: Doctors report they have not abandoned hope. Temperature at 10:00 AM is 103.4. [2]
➤ Sun., Oct. 31: Houdini dies at 1:26 PM.

Nov. 1-7:
➤ Mon, Nov. 1: Houdini's body leaves Detroit aboard train at 7:10 PM. [2]
➤ Tues., Nov. 2: Houdini's body arrives in New York at 9:30 AM. Bess in wheelchair. [2]
➤ Wed., Nov. 3: Houdini's body lies in state in New York funeral chapel. [2]
➤ Thurs., Nov. 4: Funeral services at Elks Club, West 43rd Street, New York. Houdini buried at Machpelah Cemetery, Queens, NY. [2][3]
➤ Fri., Nov. 5: Bess issues statement saying Houdini's secrets will never be revealed. [2]
➤ Sun., Nov. 7: Memorial Service for Houdini held by the Jewish Theatrical Guild at the Bijou Theater with Eddie Cantor and Harry Lauder as speakers. [2]

Nov. 8-14:
➤ Thurs., Nov. 11: Houdini's Will is read. Hardeen inherits magic. [2]
Nov. 15-21:
Nov. 20-28:
Nov. 29-Dec. 5:
➤ Mon., Nov. 29: Start of 11-day symposium on spiritualism planned by Houdini and Dr. Carl Murchison at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Houdini would have been closing speaker. [2]
➤ Sun., Dec. 5: NY Daily News reports: "Houdini's Troupe Seeks New Work." [2]

Dec. 6-12:
➤ Mon., Dec. 6: Bess receives $25,394.62 check from The Union Central Life Insurance Co. [5]
Dec. 13-19:
Dec. 20-26:
Dec. 27-Jan. 2: The Man From Beyond is released in UK this week by the Unity Film Co. [10]

Primary Sources:
[1] Koval, Frank. The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary, Part 6: 1921 to 1926. Chadderton: 1994.
[2] Original newspaper story or advertisement via newspapers.com or other archival source.
[3] Silverman, Kenneth. Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
[4] Christopher, Milbourne. Houdini The Untold Story. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1969.
[5] Original letter, cable, contract, or signed item.
[6] Original pitchbook, program, playbill or poster.
[7] Houdini diary.
✪ Denotes a first or possible first.

Additional Sources (1926):
[8] Bell, Don. The Man Who Killed Houdini. Ontario: Vehicle Press, 2004.
[9] Transcript. Fortune Telling: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Judiciary of the Committee on the District of Columbia House of Representatives, Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session on H.R. 8989. Washington Government Printing Office, 1926.
[10] Joe Notaro, Harry Houdini Circumstantial Evidence.
[11] Gresham, William Lindsay. Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1959.
[12] Weltman, Manny. Houdini: A Definitive Bibliography. Van Nuys: Finders/Seekers Enterprises, 1990.
[13] Houdni, Harry. "Keynote to Success." Genii, October 1941.

© 2019 by John Cox. All rights reserved.

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