Oz in the News 5.20.12

The Wizard of Oz in China  Illustrations for a version of the Wizard of Oz set in China.

L. Frank Baum, Freethought Firebrand?  A Methodist by upbringing, Baum was apparently a freethinker by his mid-thirties, when as editor of an Aberdeen, South Dakota, newspaper he gleefully proclaimed the age of “unfaith” and predicted the collapse of organized religion. Still, Baum was more a heretic than an atheist; he believed in the spirit realm and proposed to replace Christianity with the then-popular quasi-spiritualist doctrine of Theosophy, also a fascination of his mother-in-law.

There’s no place like Oz  Thomas examined the slippers for other signs of authenticity. The most persuasive proof was on the soles, which were red leather, indicating that these were used for Garland’s scene at the end when she clicks her heels three times. (She wore different slippers, with orange felt on the bottom, when she was dancing on the yellow brick road — which was actually made of plywood — and running through the poppy field.) Samuels’ slippers also had the distinctive tag JUDY GARLAND #7 written in pencil inside, indicating these were custom-made for the star and not her double, Bobbie Koshay.

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