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In WW II, A British Illusionist Formed ‘The Magic Gang’ Unit To Deceive German Field Marshal Rommel With Fake Tanks, Railway Lines Etc.

National Magic Day each year on October 31st recognizes the thrill of seeing the performance art. It takes place during National Magic Week.

  • One of the most renowned magicians was Harry Houdini. Known for his *escapology, Houdini had developed a range of stage magic tricks and made full use of the variety of conjuring techniques, including fake equipment and collusion with individuals in the audience.  His show business savvy was as exceptional as his showmanship.
  • Magic Day started with a “Houdini Day”, the first of which took place in the summer of 1927, less than one year after the famous magician’s death. His wife presented a trophy in honour of him on that day.
  • Houdini died at 1:26pm on October 31st, 1926.
  • The Houdini Museum is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
  • Some magic categories:
    • Stage illusions –a kind of large scale performance on a stage.
    • Parlor magic – a performance before a medium scale audience such as an auditorium.
    • Micromagic – performed close up using coins, cards, and other small items. It’s also known as close-up or table magic. This type of performance occurs in an intimate setting.
    • Escapology – In this type of performance, the artist escapes from a dangerous situation such as being submerged underwater while handcuffed or dangling from a burning rope.
    • Pickpocket magic – A distraction type of performance, the artist, makes watches, jewelry, wallets, and more disappear through misdirection. The audience witnesses the entire event.
    • Mentalism – This type of performance stuns the audience with the artist’s powers of intuition, memory, memory, deduction, and other feats of the mind.
  • The term “magic” comes from Greek. The term’s etymology is ancient; “magic” derives from mageia (μαγεία). The first people to perform magic acts were Persian priests, called magosh in Persian and magoi in Greek.
  • The performer who created the specific magician appearance was Alexander Hermann, known as Hermann the Great, a French magician. After him, people would always expect to see magicians with a top hat, goatee, and a tailcoat.
  • St. Don Bosco, an Italian priest declared saint by the Catholics, used magic tricks in 19th-century Turin to determine children to come back to school, get help, and attend church. This type of magic is called gospel magic.
  • There are online magic tricks designed to function on a computer screen, without any need of a magician. At one time, an online magic trick became viral on the Internet. It was called Esmeralda’s Crystal Ball and many people believed their computer had supernatural powers. It was all revealed when a special page was dedicated to debunking the trick.
  • The magician words “hocus pocus” are taken from the name of a sorcerer in the Norse mythology, called Ochus Bochus.
  • On the other hand, “abracadabra” comes from an inscription that people used to wear inside their amulets during the Black Plague to protect them from the disease (according to English writer Daniel Defoe).
  • When the Second World War broke out, British Illusionist Jasper Maskelyne was quick to offer up his skills to the War Department who at first believed his talents would be put to best use developing camouflage for troops. Maskelyne had slightly more ambitious ideas and proved as much when he created the illusion of a German Battleship on the Thames using mirrors and a model of a ship.  Maskelyne  was later afforded his own unit of 14 men known as ‘The Magic Gang’ (a gang I wish I was in) who were tasked with deceiving German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and his men with Inflatable tanks, fake railway lines and an optical illusion to hide the Suez Canal.
  • In 1584, the first book about magic tricks, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (sic) was released by Reginald Scot.
  • It’s illegal in Queensland (Australia) to own a pet rabbit unless you can prove that you’re a magician. – Source
  • In 1956, a magician was performing the “cut a person in half” trick using his wife for a televised performance. Immediately after she was divided, the host ended the show. People were horrified, thinking she had been killed, but time had just run out on the broadcast. – Source
  • The CIA hired a magician to train agents in sleight of hand techniques for use in their mickey-slipping LSD experiments. – Source
  • Apollo Robbins, a pickpocket magician, struck up a conversation with Jimmy Carter and Secret Service agents. Within a few minutes, he emptied the agents’ pockets of everything except their guns. – Source
  • Charles, Prince of Wales, is a member of the “Magic Circle”, an exclusive club for magicians. He gained entry in 1975 with his “Cups and Balls” performance. This routine is considered by many to be a sign of an accomplished magician, as it uses many different techniques at once. – Source
  • Muhammad Ali isn’t just one of the greatest boxers of all time. He’s also a magician, talented enough to earn David Copperfield’s praise in 2012. – Source
  • Somewhere between 50 AD and 300 AD, a group called the Acetabularii used stones and small vinegar cups to perform the well-known ball and cups routine.


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