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Oz on the Internet

Author Koren Stembridge
Air Date 3/23/2000

Oz on the Internet Transcript

What you might not know is that it all started, 100 years ago, with a book. Penned by author Frank Baum, and published in 1900–The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was to become one of the best selling children’s books of all time. But as you well know, it didn’t stop there.

In 1939, The book was made into a movie–and Judy Garland sang her way “Over the Rainbow” and into our hearts. We hissed at the green faced Wicked Witch of the West, we sat spell-bound when Glenda arrived in her bubble, and we let out a collective sigh of relief when the scarecrow got a brain, the tin man a heart, and the cowardly lion his courage.

But did you know that The Wizard is only the first book in the Oz dynasty? There are actually 40 Famous OZ books written by 7 different authors over the course of six and a half decades! Frank Baum authored the first 14, and six other authors followed, continuing to spin tales about the magical land of Oz. Since 1956, when the Oz copyright expired and the characters entered into the public domain, there have been more than 100 Oz stories published.

All this history brings us to the 21st Century… and where do you think you can find Frank Baum, Dorothy, and all your favorite Oz characters these days…. That’s right–On the Internet! Just click your heels together three times, and away we go!

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Baum’s book, the International Wizard of Oz Club is holding a Centennial Celebration. The fun begins July 20th at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. The conference schedule promises plenty of opportunities for fun, weather you are interested in Frank Baum, the Oz books, or the movie.

On April 24th the Library of Congress will help celebrate the Oz centennial with an exhibition: The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale. The exhibit runs through September 23rd at the library–or if you can’t make it to Washington, D.C., you’ll find it online. If you visit the Official Warner Brothers Wizard of Oz site, they will try to sell you a copy of the movie, on video or DVD, but brush on past the marketing pitch to “Munchkin Land” where, in the coloring book, you will find a picture of Glenda the Good Witch that is just begging for a pink crayon!

Or if you like, visit Clay’s Wav page, where you can listen to some of the most famous lines from the move. Your sure to sing along with the Munchkins of the Lullaby League and the Lollipop Guild. Or transport yourself back to your childhood, to the first time you heard the Wicked Witch of the West say “I’ll get you my pretty… and your little dog too!”

At Zoe’s Wizard of Oz Place, you can read the complete movie screenplay, with wonderful images from the movie as background. When it’s time for a song, click and listen. This site is a real visual treat.

A visit to Jim’s Wizard of OZ Web site is a must. Here you’ll find a chronology of Baum’s life and work, links to all things Oz. On the Ruby Slippers Trivia Page I found out that in Baum’s original story, the ruby slippers were actually silver shoes! And did you know that the equation recited by the Scarecrow after he receives his “Doctor of Thinkology” is really incorrect! Jim’s site even contains the complete text of Baum’s book.

At Piglet Press’ Oz Encyclopedia you can search an alphabetical index of all things Oz. Here I found that in the book the Emerald City of Oz, students took “Algebra Pills.” Taken at night when going to be, each pill is equal to four hours of study! Too bad they didn’t give them to the Scarecrow!

Posted in Literature