Arago: Exhibits


Free of the Delirium

37c Harry Houdini single

The 37-cent Harry Houdini stamp was issued July 3, 2002.

On Halloween of 1929, exactly three years after the death of famed trickster Harry Houdini, people were reeling from the chaos of Black Tuesday. The New York Herald Tribune tried to be optimistic and dispel predictions of doomsday by assuring Americans that their lives would soon be “free of the delirium.”

And there’s nothing like a little deception to lift spirits when the economy is looking grim. In fact, last year the National Retail Foundation predicted an increase in spending on Halloween, up to nearly $6 billion. When you’re clad in superhero garb, how could your bank statement possibly be depressing?