This Week In Awesome History Vol. 15

From a magician's death to the remains of a legend, this week is pretty bad ass.

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

October 31st, 1926: Houdini dies from his students’ punch

Legendary escape artist Harold Houdini died on this day in 1926 in an unfortunate twist of fate. During a lecture in Montreal he explained to students that his stomach muscles were able to withstand abnormally hard blows. Following the lecture, student J. Gordon Whitehead approached Houdini wishing to see if the infamous trickster was indeed telling the truth.

Whitehead delivered three hard blows to Houdini’s abdomen, apparently before the magician was able to tense his muscles properly; the force of the punches ruptured his appendix, and a man who had survived being buried alive and held in a Chinese water torture chamber would a few dies later die from peritonitis.


October 31st, 1970: Nolan North is born

If you’ve picked up a video game controller in the past 5 years or so, chances are you’ve heard the voice of video game voiceover guy and perennial everyman Nolan North, who has leant his vocal chords to every game from this weeks Uncharted 3, to Portal 2, to Crash Tag Team Racing.

He was born on this day in 1970, and 41 years later has imprinted his familiar voice in our gaming subconscious. Still, he did a rubbish English accent in Arkham City.


November 2nd, 2000: Uri Geller claims Pokémon based on him, sues Nintendo

On this day in the year 2000, “psychic” Uri Geller attempted to sue Nintendo a mammoth £60million after claiming that Pokémon Kadabra was based on his likeness. The Pokémon’s notable characteristic was its constant carrying of a spoon, which Geller believed was inspired by his “psychokinetic” spoon-bending shtick. Unfortunately for Geller the case was thrown out of court.

However, this was not Geller’s first lawsuit. When his purported prowess was challenged by renowned psychic debunker James Randi, Geller retaliated by attempting to take Randi to court. Again, he failed.


November 4th, 1922: Tutankhamen’s Tomb entrance is discovered

On this day in 1922, Howard Carter and his team of workmen discovered the first step leading to King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

The British archaeologist had arrived in Egypt in 1891 and discovered most of the tombs, but until after World War I the location of King Tut’s tomb was still unknown. When they finally made their way into the mysterious burial place of Egypt’s 18-year-old former ruler they discovered thousands of expensive objects littering it, including Tut’s stone sarcophagus, which contained three coffins inside of it, the final one being entirely made of gold and containing the mummified body of the king.

Most of the riches are viewable in the Cairo Museum, but the mummy is kept in its original resting spot in the Valley of the Kings.


November 5th, 1994: George Foreman becomes Heavyweight champ at 45

On this day in ’94 George Foreman knocked out 26-year-old Michael Moorer, becoming the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history.

Following his defeat against Muhammad Ali at “Rumble in the Jungle”, Foreman took a prolonged break from boxing for 10 years. However, he put on his gloves once more to go up against the 35-0 Moorer, who was a heavy favourite and was expected to retire the legend in an early round.

Moorer bested the Lean, Mean, Fat Grillin’ Machine founder for 9 rounds, until a drained Foreman shockingly KO’ed him in the 10th, making Foreman the oldest Heavyweight boxing champion in history at 45-years-old.