100th Anniversary of Oz and Baum’s 150th Birthday

2000

  •  Jan. 14 – Girl, Interrupted, a film in which a character played by Angelina Jolie is a devoted reader of Oz books, premieres.
  •  Jan. 30 – During the broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIV, FedEx debuts its TV commercial showing a delivery truck landing in Munchkinland.
  • April 24 – The Library of Congress opens a major exhibit, “The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale,” attended by at least 70,000 people and featured on ABC World News Tonight.
  • May 15 – The 100th anniversary of the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz occurs.

  • May 24 – A pair of ruby slippers from MGM’s Wizard of Oz is sold for $666,000 to David Elkouby at auction by Christie’s East; the slippers had previously been on display at the Great Movie Ride at the Disney/MGM Studios Theme Park.
  • June – The New York Public Library hosts an exhibit, “100 Years of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” in the Children’s Room.
  • June 17 – An exhibit of Oz memorabilia titled “A Century of Oz” opens at the Des Plaines (IL) Historical Museum.
  • June 29 – A unique miniature Oscar statuette that was given to Judy Garland for her performance in the 1939 Wizard of Oz is offered for sale for $3 million by L.A. autograph dealer Nate Sanders. Garland’s ex-husband Sid Luft denies involvement in consigning the award, the sale of which is eventually blocked by a judge.
  • July 19 – A copy of Baum’s The Wizard of Oz signed by all the principal cast members of the MGM film sells at auction for $49,300.
  • July 20-23 – The Oz Club hosts the Centennial Convention at the University of Indiana – Bloomington, with over 400 attendees and four days packed with Oz programming ranging from scholarly to popular. The New York Times features the convention on its front page.
  • July 22 – Jane Albright receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club at the Centennial Convention.
  • Oct. – Chicago hosts a month-long celebration commemorating the centennial of the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the city.
  • Nov. 4 – “A Century of Oz,” an exhibit of more than 500 items from the collection of Willard Carroll, opens at the Los Angeles Central Library.
  • Nov. 30 – Royal Historian of Oz Eloise Jarvis McGraw, author of Merry Go Round in Oz and The Forbidden Fountain of Oz, passes away.
  • Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is produced as an 80-minute animated film.
  • Lion of Oz, an animated adaptation of a story by Roger S. Baum, is released on video by Sony Wonder.
  • The Annotated Wizard of Oz Centennial Edition by Michael Patrick Hearn is published by W. W. Norton.
  • Baum’s Road to Oz: The Dakota Years by Nancy Tystad Koupal is published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press.
  • The Hidden Prince of Oz by Gina Wickwar and illustrated by Anna-Maria Cool, the winner of the International Wizard of Oz Club’s Baum centennial manuscript contest, is published.
  • Oz: The Hundredth Anniversary Celebration by Peter Glassman is published by HarperCollins.
  • Oz Before the Rainbow: L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on Stage and Screen to 1939 by Mark Evan Swartz is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

2001

  • Feb. 25 – Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, a television special starring Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard in the title role, airs.
  • March 8 – “Over the Rainbow” is ranked as the number-one song of the 20th century by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America.
  • March 28 – George Gibson, scenic art director of MGM’s Wizard of Oz, dies.
  • May – John Kearney’s sculpture of the Cowardly Lion is installed in Chicago’s Oz Park.
  • June – Willard Carroll and Michael O. Riley receive the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • July 3 – Memories of Oz, a half-hour documentary on the 1939 Wizard of Oz, airs on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel.
  • Oct. 11 – A copy of a first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, inscribed with four lines of verse from Baum to his “sweetheart” Beth, sells for $152,500 in Christie’s (NY) “Masterpieces of Modern Literature” auction.
  • Nov. 4 – Emmy Awards are given to Judy Davis for lead actress and Tammy Blanchard for best supporting actress, both for portraying Judy Garland in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.
  • I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was Toto by Willard Carroll is published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
  • Eloise Jarvis McGraw’s Rundelstone of Oz is published by the Hungry Tiger Press.

2002

  • Jan. 5 – The Judy Garland biopic Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows is recognized with an American Film Institute Award.
  • Jan. 11 – The Ryan Adams music video for “Answering Bell,” which evokes imagery of the MGM Wizard of Oz, is shot in Long Island City (NY).
  • Jan. 26  – An Oz puppet show titled Munchkin Holiday, produced by Rob Papineau and the Pippin Puppets, opens at the Theatre Guild in Livonia-Redford, Mich.
  • March – The Oz Club’s Centennial Convention (July 20-24, 2000) wins an Exemplary Program Award from the University Continuing Education Association.
  • April 7 – A multimedia dance production of The Patchwork Girl of Oz is staged by Louise Reichlin and Dancers at the Los Angeles Theater Center.
  • April – The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation purchases the Fayetteville (NY) house in which Maud Gage and L. Frank Baum were married.
  • May 14 – “Adrian: American Glamour,” an exhibit of the work of the MGM Wizard of Oz costume designer Gilbert Adrian, opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • May 16 – The extensive collection of Oz Club member Irene Fisher is auctioned by Swann Galleries (New York).
  • June 6 – “Judy Garland: Princess of Oz”, an exhibit of memorabilia of the star of the 1939 Wizard of Oz, opens at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum and runs for three months.
  • June 22 – Robert A. Baum, Jr. receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • June 29 – “Lisbeth Zwerger’s Land of Oz,” an exhibit of the Austrian illustrator’s watercolors and drawings for her interpretation of  The Wizard of Oz, opens at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.
  • June 14 – The TV soap opera Passions begins a weeklong Wizard of Oz storyline.
  • July 4 – The Sing-Along Wizard of Oz is broadcast on Turner Classic Movies.
  • Sep 21 – Robert Sabuda is awarded the Meggendorfer Prize by the Movable Book Society for his centennial pop-up edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • The Historian’s Wizard of Oz: Reading L. Frank Baum’s Classic as a Political and Monetary Allegory by Ranjit S. Dighe is published by Praeger Publishers.
  • Katharine M. Rogers’s biography L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz is published by St. Martin’s Press.
  • The Woggle-Bug: The Complete Sheet Music of the 1905 Musical Comedy is published by Hungry Tiger Press.

2003

  • Jan. 10 – Evelyn Copelman Spivak, whose illustrations for The Wizard of Oz in 1944 were the first published since W. W. Denslow’s 1900 originals, passes away at the age of 83.
  • April – A pair of Oz-inspired ruby-encrusted sandals goes on sale for $1,590,000 at Harrods London.
  • May 28 –Wicked, a Stephen Schwartz musical based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, begins previews at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre.
  • June 3 – The Wicked Witch of the West, as portrayed by Margaret Hamilton in MGM’s Wizard of Oz, is voted the fourth-worst movie villain by the American Film Institute.
  • June 21 – Peter Glassman receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • July 11 – The first known stage production of Dot and Tot of Merryland, written by Jennifer Kirkeby with music and lyrics by Michael Pretasky, opens at the Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins, MN.
  • Sept. 11 – Actor John Ritter, who sensitively portrayed L. Frank Baum in the 1990 TV biopic The Dreamer of Oz, dies.
  • Oct. 30 – The musical Wicked opens on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre.
  • Nov – The Oz Museum in Wamego, KS, opens its doors.
  • Linda Sunshine’s All Things Oz: The Wonder, Wit, and Wisdom of The Wizard of Oz is published by Clarkson N. Potter.
  • The International Wizard of Oz Club publishes Sissajig and Other Surprises, a collection of writings by Ruth Plumly Thompson.

2004

  • Jan. – The Boulder (CO) Public Library holds an “Oz Films of the Silent Era” film festival.
  • Jan. 26 – the Oz collection of Club member Jane Albright is featured on the Sunflower Broadband Channel’s TV show Home and Away.
  • Jan. 31 – The Chicago Public Library exhibit “Theatre That Works: A Chicago Story” features materials from the 1902 Wizard of Oz musical and images of actors Montgomery and Stone in the advertising.
  • Feb. – The Lawrence (KS) Public Library features The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in its month-long “Reading Across Lawrence” events program.
  • Feb. 7 – The Cleveland (OH) Home and Garden Show features a tribute to The Wizard of Oz.
  • Feb. 13 – Artist, Oz Club member, and L. Frank Baum Memorial Award winner Irene Fisher passes away.
  • Feb. 25. – Judy Garland: By Myself, featuring the words and performances of the MGM Wizard of Oz star, is broadcast on PBS as part of the American Masters series. The film is produced by former Oz Club president John Fricke.
  • March 6 – The exhibit “Wizard of Oz Collectibles by Janie Stowers Craddock” opens at the Bob Evans Farm Homestead Museum in Rio Grande, OH.
  • April – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the centerpiece of the “Steamboat Reads” project of the Community Libraries of Steamboat Springs (CO).
  • May 24 – Edward Wagenknecht, author of the pioneering Oz assessment Utopia Americana (1929), dies at the age of 104.
  • June 6 – Wicked wins three Tony Awards, given to Idina Menzel (Best Performance by a Leading Actress), Eugene Lee (Best Scenic Design), and Susan Hilfert (Best Costume Design).
  • June 19 – Patrick Maund receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • June 19 – Oz Club charter member, Club Secretary, and Royal Historian Fred M. Meyer dies.
  • June 22 – “Over the Rainbow” is selected as the best film song of all time by the American Film Institute, while “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” earns the #82 spot.
  • Sept. 6 – Tiny Doll, a Munchkin actress in the 1939 Wizard of Oz, passes away at age 90.
  • Sept. 19 – Judy Garland: By Myself, produced by former Oz Club president John Fricke, wins three Emmy Awards.
  • Oct. 10 – The NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Kansas Speedway (Kansas City, KS) features cars decorated with Wizard of Oz images. Collectible die-cast model cars are issued.
  • Oct. 14 – A musical version of Was, based on the Oz-themed novel by Geoff Ryman, is staged by the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, OH.
  • Dec. 10 – The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a new musical adaptation by Greg Atkins and Diane King Vann, premiers at the Laguna (CA) Playhouse.

2005

  • Jan. 6 – An exhibit of many Oz collectibles from the collection of Club member David Kempel opens at the Monroe (WI) ArtsCenter.
  • Feb. 10 – Cynthia Baum Tassini, a niece of L. Frank Baum, dies at the age of 95. The Emerald City of Oz is dedicated to her as “Her Royal Highness Cynthia II of Syracuse.”
  • Feb. 13 – The original cast album for Wicked wins the Grammy Award for “Best Musical Show Album.”
  • April 1 – An auction by Profiles in History includes the Wicked Witch hat worn by Margaret Hamilton and a Winged Monkey figurine, which sell for $54,625 and $14,950, respectively.
  • April 27 – The blue-and-white gingham dress worn by July Garland in MGM’s Wizard of Oz is sold for $252,000 by Bonhams & Butterfield auction house.
  • April 28 – The U.S. Postal Service releases a 37-cent postage stamp featuring E. Y. “Yip” Harburg, lyricist of the 1939 Wizard of Oz.
  • May 19 – Syracuse (NY) celebrates the 150th birthday of L. Frank Baum with a new Oz festival called “OZ-MANIA.”
  • May 20 – The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, a two-hour TV special, premieres on ABC.
  • June 3 – John Kearney’s cast-bronze sculpture of the Scarecrow is installed in Chicago’s Oz Park.
  • June 11 – Angelica Carpenter and David Maxine receive the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • June 16 – Unauthorized Magic in Oz, a theatrical puppet show by Edward Einhorn, premieres at St. Ann’s Warehouse Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.
  • June 24 – The Adirondack Scenic Railroad offers “The Wonderful Weekend of Oz!” with a train trip from Utica (NY) “to Oz.”
  • Aug. 28 – A pair of ruby slippers from the 1939 Wizard of Oz is stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.
  • Sept. 2 – The public radio show The Riverwalk features music from the MGM film in “Silver Shoes & Green Spectacles: A Jazz Interpretation of The Wizard of Oz.”
  • Oct. 25 – The Wizard of Oz Three-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD of the MGM musical is released by Warner Home Video, and includes commentary by John Fricke and interviews with many other Oz Club members.
  • Oct. 28 – The village of Chagrin Falls (OH) holds its first Wizard of Oz Festival.
  • Oct. 29 – John Fricke hosts a “Wizard of Oz Symposium” at Loews Lincoln Square Theatre in Manhattan.
  • Nov. 4 – NorthwesternUniversity holds a symposium titled “From the Wonderful World. . . to WAS” focusing on Baum and Oz stage adaptations.
  • Nov. 25 – The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a new musical, premieres at the First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Daniel Kinske and Meinhardt Raabe write Memories of a Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down the Yellow Brick Road, published by Backstage Books.
  • Gregory Maguire’s Son of a Witch, a sequel to Wicked, is published by William Morrow.
  • Wicked: The Grimmerie – A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical is published by Hyperion.

2006

  • April 10 – Gonzaga University’s Foley Center Library opens an exhibit, “Beyond Oz: Highlights from the Collection of Currie Corbin.”
  • April 12 – Inver Hills Community College (MN) hosts an L. Frank Baum Sesquicentennial Conference.
  • May 2 – The Wizard of Oz is honored with a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film for being the “Best DVD Classic Film Release” of the year.
  • May 15 – L. Frank Baum’s 150th birthday takes place.
  • June 10 – The U.S. Postal Service releases a Judy Garland stamp as part of its “Legends of Hollywood” series, on the day that would have been the actress’s 84th birthday.
  • June – David Moyer receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • June – The Daily Ozmapolitan debuts at http://ozmapolitan.spaces.live.com.
  • June 14 –Babylon Heights, a new play set in Hollywood during the filming of MGM’s Wizard of Oz and exploring the urban legend of the “hanging man” on the set, debuts.
  • July 7 – The New Century Opera Company of Tarpon Springs (FL) restages the 1902 Wizard of Oz musical.
  • July 11 – “The Wonderful Art of Oz” exhibit, featuring 72 works by numerous Oz illustrators and artists, opens at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass.
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  • July 12 – A Land of Oz section opens in the Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) amusement park.
  • Sept. 8 – “The Writer’s Muse: L. Frank Baum and the Hotel del Coronado,” an exhibit of Baum and Oz items, opens at San Diego State University.
  • Dec. 15 – The Cowardly Lion outfit worn by Bert Lahr in the 1939 Wizard of Oz is sold for $700,000 at a Profiles in History Hollywood memorabilia auction.
  • Dec. 18 – Judy Garland’s 1935 childhood recordings fail to sell at a Los Angeles auction by Bonhams & Butterfield, with the high bid of $22,500 falling well short of the $40,000 expected price.
  • The International Wizard of Oz Club publishes The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum.

2007

  • Mar. 9 – Orange Park, FL, is the latest town to host an Oz event with its “Southeast Wizard of Oz Festival.”
  • April 6 – A Winkie guard costume from the 1939 MGM film (one of only two known to still exist) sells at auction for $115,000.
  • May 7 – “The Wonderful Wizard of Song,” a multimedia production of Harold Arlen music, begins a 20-city tour.
  • May 18 – John Kearney’s sculpture of Dorothy and Toto is installed in Chicago’s Oz Park.
  • July 7 – Nancy Tystad Koupal receives the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.
  • July 27 – William Tuttle, who worked as an (uncredited) assistant makeup artist on the MGM Wizard of Oz, dies in Santa Monica (CA) at the age of 95.