To commemorate an internationally renowned illusionist who called Monmouth home, State Sen. Jil Tracy sponsored a Senate Resolution to declare April 21 as “Magic Day in Monmouth.”
“Magic in Monmouth Day is a special way to celebrate the history of world-renowned illusionist, ‘The Great Nicola,’ who always knew Monmouth as home and is buried there today,” said Tracy. “The Great Nicola inspired practices and illusions used by so many celebrated illusionists and delivered goodwill in the form of public entertainment to the far reaches of civilization. He also drew from his travels to educate the western world about the natural wonders of Asia and Africa.”
Lifelong Monmouth resident and international celebrity, William Mozart Nicol, AKA “The Great Nicola,” was one of the most influential illusionists of his time. He devised innovative apparatuses in his Monmouth workshop that inspired grand-stage illusions used in celebrated magic acts today. He also collected exotic animals for zoos and film production.
The city of Monmouth is currently developing a professionally-curated museum to celebrate Western Illinois’ rich history and innovators, such as The Great Nicola. Also, this past year Monmouth premiered The Great Nicola Magic Festival on April 21, a new tourism opportunity in Western Illinois.