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Congressional Resolution to Celebrate Magic Neglects Michigan’s Magic Connections

Magician in Magic Shop
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Who says Congress can’t get important laws passed? There is a bill up for consideration in the House of Representatives to recognize the importance of magic in American culture. The problem? It completely neglects Michigan’s very important role in the history and prominence of magic.

The resolution reads, in part,

Recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure.

Whereas magic is an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people;

Whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible;

Whereas magic is used to inspire and bring wonder and happiness to others;

Whereas magic has had a significant impact on other art forms…

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure; and

(2) supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.

All well and good. And the resolution points to David Copperfield’s Project Magic which uses the art as therapy for those with physical, psychological, and social disabilities. It also recognizes Wylie, Texas which hosts the annual Great Texas Magic Festival.

Again, all well and good. But where’s the recognition of the very important role Michigan has played and continues to play in magic? Two of the most important places to magicians the world over are just 38 miles from each other in South Central Michigan.

American Museum of Magic

Marshall, Michigan

Marshall’s American Museum of Magic is the largest museum in America dedicated to the craft and history of magic that’s open to the public and contains,

Thousands of artifacts illuminate the stories of Houdini, Blackstone, Thurston and many others.

The museum is also maintains a research center that houses over a million magic artifacts and a library with 50,000 books on magic.

Magic Capital of the World

Colon, Michigan

Colon, just a short drive from Marshall’s American Museum of Magic, is considered the Magic Capital of the World. Why Colon? First, the famous Blackstone family settled here. Then the Abbots, who founded Abbot Magic Company. Today there are 3 magic manufacturing companies in tiny Colon as well as a village-wide celebration, Magic Week, each summer, a Magic Walk of Fame and a cemetery that is the final resting place of 28 magicians, more than any other cemetery in the world.

We asked Rick Fisher, president of the FAB Magic Company in Colon about the importance of magic and the role it plays in light of the pending congressional resolution,

Magic is a national treasure! It has a lasting impact on both those who perform it and those who witness it. It is the one of the world’s oldest art forms and has entertained audiences of all ages. Every one wants to be fooled – and then try and figure it out. I have been a magician for 50 years and I couldn’t imagine being anything else….

More Michigan Magic Connections

Want to dive really deep into Michigan’s magic connections? Robert Lund, who founded the American Museum of Magic in Marshall wrote a 20-page essay on the deep roots of magic in the Mitten State including:

  • Harry Houdini first successes were in Detroit and it was the place of his passing.
  • Ann Arbor is home to many ‘small run publishers,’ those who print limited numbers of books on niche subjects like magic, meaning magicians over the years learned their craft with the help of books churned out in the shadow of the University of Michigan.

More: Colon + Other Surprising 'World Capitals' Found in Michigan

[h/t Atlas Obscura, Congress.gov]

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