This Day in History (May 15)

L. Frank Baum in 1911

L. Frank Baum

Born Lyman Frank Baum
May 15, 1856
Chittenango, New York
Died May 6, 1919 (aged 62)
Hollywood, California
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
Occupation Author, Newspaper Editor, Actor, Screenwriter, Film Producer
Spouse(s) Maud Gage (1882–1919; his death)
Children Frank Joslyn Baum, Robert Stanton Baum, Harry Neal Baum
Kenneth Gage Baum

Publish date 1900

L. Frank Baum published 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' to much critical acclaim and financial success. The book was a best-selling children's novel for two years after it's initial release. Baum went on to write thirteen more novels based on the places and people on the 'Land of Oz'. (none of the other titles had the same impact) 
Made in 1939
In 1901-02 the first stage version ran on and off Broadway  for several years. The name was changed to 'The Wizard of Oz'.  In 1939 'The Wizard of Oz' that we all know and love was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haney (Tin man), Bert Lahr (the Lion) and Frank Morgan (the Wizard).

Illustrated by Michael Foreman

Fun Movie Fact 1 - Margaret Hamilton, a life-long fan of the Oz books, was ecstatic when she learned the producers were considering her for a part in the film. When she phoned her agent to find out what role she was up for, her agent simply replied, 'The Witch, who else?'
Margaret Hamilton

Fun Movie Fact 2 - According to lead Munchkin Jerry Maren, the 'little people' on the set were paid $50 per week for a 6-day work week, while Toto (the dog) received $125 per week.

Fun Movie Fact 3 - A reference to something in the book not included in the script can be seen in the movie. It's the kiss Glinda gives Dorothy on the forehead that protects her from the Wicked Witch, as none would dare harm someone who bears the kiss of the Good Witch.
The four unlikely friends - off to see the Wizard!