March 24, 1874.
From our Biography Reference Bank database – Harry Houdini was born Ehrich Weiss in Appleton, Wisconsin, not long after his parents, Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss and Cecelia Steiner, emigrated from Budapest. Since the opportunities for work for a Jewish scholar were few in Wisconsin, young Ehrich had to work to earn money for the family at an early age. At the age of twelve, Ehrich ran away from home, and eventually reached New York, where the family later moved. After Rabbi Weiss died in 1892, Ehrich worked at a variety of odd jobs, but he was fascinated with magic and feats of dexterity, or manual skills. He changed his name to Harry Houdini, after the French magician Robert Houdin, and learned magic tricks in sideshows and circuses, and from books.