He Dazzled America with His Stunts
For more than 30 years, Harry Houdini dazzled his audiences with brave (albeit insane) stunts and superhuman endurance. The master escape artist would do things like jump off bridges wearing handcuffs and leg irons. He would slither out of sealed, oversized milk cans (of all things) filled with water, and he escaped from a “Chinese Water Torture Cell” after being submerged and suspended upside down by his ankles.
The audience, hearts in their mouths, would watch as Houdini made his getaways. While his stunts usually involved trickery and sleight-of-hand, they were also loaded with real life-threatening risk. In 1915, for instance, Houdini almost suffocated during a stunt which had him shackled and buried under six feet of dirt.