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Today in Nerd History | May 17

We’re off to see the Wizard! Today is May 17!

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.

© The First Edition Rare Books

1900: The Wizard of Oz (Book)

In 1900, L. Frank Baum’s beloved book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was first published, introducing readers to the magical world of Oz and the adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. This enchanting story has since become one of the most influential works in American literature, sparking countless adaptations, sequels, and spin-offs. Let’s skip down the Yellow Brick Road and discover some “Nerdy Facts” about this timeless tale that has captured the hearts of generations.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Literary Success: Despite initial doubts from critics, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” became a bestseller, with Baum going on to write 13 more Oz books that expanded the world and its characters. The series has sold millions of copies and remains a staple of children’s literature.
  • Inspired by Kansas: Baum was inspired to create Oz after living in South Dakota and visiting Kansas, where the flat plains and frequent tornadoes served as a backdrop for Dorothy’s journey. He wanted to create a story where a little girl could be a hero in a fantastical land.
  • A Technicolor Legacy: The book was famously adapted into the 1939 MGM film “The Wizard of Oz,” which is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It brought Judy Garland’s portrayal of Dorothy and the world of Oz to vibrant Technicolor life, introducing iconic songs like “Over the Rainbow.”

May 17 is a day to celebrate the magic of storytelling and the timeless appeal of Oz. From the Emerald City to the Wicked Witch’s castle, Baum’s world continues to inspire readers, viewers, and dreamers alike. Happy Nerd History Day to all who believe in the power of imagination and the joy of following the Yellow Brick Road!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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