Piqua-born “Royal Historian of Oz” Jack Snow will be honored at a memorial dedication and headstone unveiling on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. in Forest Hill Cemetery, 8660 North State Route 66 (Broadway Street), Piqua, Ohio. The ceremony is free and open to the public. The ceremony will mark the 110th anniversary of Snow’s birth.
Forest Hill Cemetery is just north of the City of Piqua and about 30 miles north of Dayton, Ohio.
For more information, contact Bev Drudy.
Speaking at the ceremony will be a representative of the Snow family; James C. Oda, director, Piqua Public Library; and Michael Gessel, a researcher on Snow’s life and officer of the International Wizard of Oz Club.
The headstone was supported by a grant from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
Snow achieved success as the author of The Magical Mimics in Oz and The Shaggy Man of Oz in the popular “Wizard of Oz” series, an acclaimed writer of short stories of speculative fiction, a pioneering reviewer of early radio programs, and the man who came up with the name for Dayton’s radio station WING. But Snow, who died in 1956, is little known in his hometown.
Snow was one of the foremost experts on Baum, and he assembled an outstanding collection of Baum first editions and Oz rarities. His work to promote Baum and Oz led to the founding of the International Wizard of Oz Club the year after he died.
He also achieved acclaim in science fiction circles. Snow published short stories of speculative fiction, some of which continue to be reprinted in anthologies of great works of the genre.
In addition to Oz, radio was a lifelong interest for Snow. While attending Piqua High School, he wrote what is believed to be the nation’s first regular newspaper column of radio reviews, for the Cincinnati Enquirer. As publicity director for the Dayton radio station WSMK, he came up with the idea for the new station call letters, WING, which are still used today.
After graduating from high school in 1925, Snow wrote features and a weekly radio review column for the Piqua Daily Call.
Snow died in New York City on July 11, 1956, and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio.