Malini first appears in Washington D.C. in January of 1902. Upon the steps of the US Capital building, Malini encountered Senator Hanna. The brazen magician reached forward and bit off a button from Hanna's jacket. Before the stunned Senator could react, Malini apologized and magically restored the button back to the jacket. This stunt so impressed the Senator, that he invited Malini to perform at his home for some invited guests.
|Senate Marble Room|
Malini finished his performance with his signature Card Stabbing routine where four cards were chosen and lost in the deck. Malini would be blindfolded and then using a pen knife, would stab at the backs of the cards and locate the selected playing cards. This impromptu show garnered Malini several newspaper articles. One was a full page spread that would make even Houdini jealous.
Washington D.C. seemed to be an ideal place for Malini to work as he came here often. In 1922, he performed at a public reception at the White House. This time he bit off a button from the coat of none other than President Warren Harding. According to the Malini biography by Dai Vernon, following this performance Malini received a front page article in one of the Washington D.C. papers.
I did find other places besides the Capital building and the White House where Malini performed. The Roosevelt Hotel 2101 16th St NW Washington. The hotel has since been converted into apartments, but below is a photo of the location today. When Malini performed there he used one of the banquet rooms to put on his show and would sell tickets. He apparently also performed at many of the clubs and guilds in the area as well. No doubt he used these to gain access to high society individuals and quickly established a name for himself. Another location was the Willard Hotel 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC..
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that one of the newspaper articles discusses an unusual trick where Malini had a card selected and lost in a deck of cards. When he tried to find it he was unable. So he told the congressman to check his pockets but there was no card. Then he suggested he check inside the lining of the jacket, and lo and behold, there was the card, inside the lining of the jacket! I wanted to point this out because this very effect was mentioned in the Malini Book, but not as the finished effect, instead HOW he got the card there. Fascinating character.
|Location of Roosevelt Hotel, today they are apartments.|