Performance Policies and Procedures ........................................................................................................2
Audience Role and Responsibility............................................................................................................ 4 One-Minute Etiquette Reminder .............................................................................................................. 5 Dramatic Criticism .................................................................................................................................. 6 Understanding/Appreciating the Play in Performance ............................................................................... 9 L. Frank Baum, royal historian, proprietor ............................................................................................. 10 Literary Chronology.............................................................................................................................. 12 Baum’s Preface to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz ................................................................................... 12 The Director’s Vision ............................................................................................................................. 13
The Wizard of Oz: an American Fairy Tale ............................................................................................ 13 Baum’s Utopia: Oz ................................................................................................................................. 15
Creators of the musical Wizard of Oz.................................................................................................... 18 Vocabulary ........................................................................................................................................... 21 Timeline: L. Frank Baum and Syracuse .................................................................................................. 23 The “Poetry” of The Wizard of Oz ........................................................................................................ 38 Baum Onstage!..................................................................................................................................... 46 Matilda Joslyn Gage, Baum’s mother-in-law .......................................................................................... 52 Suggested Activities from: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Website ........................................................... 54 Suggested Post-Performance Activities .................................................................................................... 60
Sources Consulted ................................................................................................................................ 60
PERFORMANCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES WHEN TO ARRIVE AT THE THEATRE: We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to the performance to allow time for seating. This is a professional theatre production and will start at the scheduled time. Student matinees begin promptly at 10:30 am. BUS DROP OFF AND PARKING: Busses not staying may load and unload at the Centro bus stop on East Genesee Street. Bus parking is available along East Genesee Street at the bagged meters. Cars must make arrangements in parking facilities as they will be ticketed if parked at the bagged meters. SEAT ASSIGNMENTS: As each seat at Syracuse Stage is reserved and performances are often standing room only, students must sit in their assigned seats. For reasons of convenience, efficiency, and courtesy, we request that students do not trade seats. Regardless of the number in your block of seats, we request that this rule is respected. We ask that chaperons and teachers do not sit together but sit evenly distributed throughout the students. LATECOMERS: Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the Management. BACKPACKS, CAMERAS, WALKMANS AND FOOD: Backpacks, cameras and tape recorders (including Walkmans) are strictly prohibited in the theatre, as is food of any kind. As we do not have storage facilities for these items at Syracuse Stage, we ask that you leave them at school or on the bus. PHOTOGRAPHY: Cameras (flash or otherwise) are strictly prohibited in the theatre. Union rules do not allow the taking of pictures during a production and flash cameras are a distraction to both the acting company and audience. Any camera used in the theatre will be removed for the duration of the performance. FOOD, DRINK AND GUM: Absolutely no food, drink, or gum is allowed in the theatre. Please leave snacks and lunches on the bus. Students will be asked to leave the theatre to remove any food items or the items will be taken and not returned. INTERMISSION REFRESHMENTS: Soda and snacks may be available during intermission for $1.00 (exact change will be appreciated), depending on staff availability. Reminder: You must dispose of all snack items before reentering the theatre . AUDIENCE ETIQUETTE: Live performance theatres require behavior different from that required in the movie theatres. Please review theatre etiquette with your students before attending the performance. If any student becomes disruptive to the point of interference with the performers or other audience members, a chaperon will be asked to remove that student. POST-SHOW FOLLOW UP: Performances at Syracuse Stage are funded by grants, corporations, and individuals. They do want to hear from you. Write to us too! Please: 1] Write thank you letters to the sponsors to let them know that this is an important program. (Names and addresses can be obtained from the Education office.) 2] Write to Syracuse Stage with suggestions to improve your theatre experience. 3] Call the Education office if you have any questions or if there is an issue that requires immediate action. Thank you in advance for the work you put into helping Syracuse Stage present the student matinee program. We hope that the season entertains and enlightens you and your students.
Part of the art of living is living with the arts.
PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW Education Associate............………Pat Pederson Producing Director.…….....................James Clark Group Sales Coordinator.................Tracey White Artistic Director.................................Robert Moss House Manager.......................Anthony Corcoran Corp./Gov’t./Foundation Relations........... James Dungey IMPORTANT NUMBERS Syracuse Stage Administration Offices: 315/443-4008 Education Department: 315/443-1150 Group Sales: 315/443-9844
AUDIENCE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY As audience members, your students have a distinct role and responsibility. The success of any performance depends on the actors on the stage as well as the people in the seats. For those students enjoying their first exposure to a live theatre production, we encourage some discussion of theatre manners before you attend the play, as some movie-, video- and television-watching behaviors are not always appropriate in the theatre. We have included two pages to assist you: the first lists discussion questions or topics for the classroom (with some suggested answers in italics) while the second is a ONE MINUTE ETIQUETTE REMINDER to read on the bus before you arrive. (You might also review the essay on Dramatic Criticism, below.) Thank you for helping us help your students get the most out of the performance. [ 1 ] What are some of the differences between a live theatre production and a movie? Movies can be filmed in any sequence and scenes can be redone as many times as needed to get a “good scene.” The scenes are then composed into the movie by editors and the director. Each scene in a live theatre performance is presented once only, in sequence, as written, the performance being created anew each time by the actors, stage manager(s) and backstage staff. The audience’s noise level, activity level, and attention level do not affect the movie actor’s performance. BUT, all of these things are heard and noticed by the actors of a live performance and have an immediate effect on the performance, which may be positive or negative—if the audience laughs at funny lines or is leaning forward in anticipation of the action, actors respond with energetic performances; if the audience does not respond to the actors, responds at inappropriate times or is restless, actors find it difficult to give their best performances because their concentration, their “trains of thought,” as it were, have been disrupted. Special effects in a movie are often be generated by computers or camera angles while special effects in the theatre often rely on the audience’s imagination to enhance or help create them. Movies provide realistic images while live theatre provides images of reality. [ 2 ] What is the best way to approach viewing a live performance of any art? Audiences attending a live performance must be willing to “suspend their disbelief”; that is, they should be prepared to use their imagination to fully enter into the ideas of the play/musical composition/dance, etc. Live performances are in ways television and movies are not: try to be open to the passion and emotion behind the actions, words, movements and/or music presented. Because each performance is affected by audience response, audience members will never see the same performance twice. Though the piece’s meaning remains the same, each performance may have its own underlying interpretations due to factors such as the performer(s) and/or audience’s state of mind, performer(s) physical readiness, and even the comfort level in the performing space. [ 3 ] What is the audience’s role during a live performance? How do you think audience behavior can affect a performance? Audiences ready to observe naturally connect with the performers and appropriately respond to the performance, by laughing, gasping, applauding, or quietly listening. Even when this is so audience members should remember that, for live performances, paper rattling, watch alarms, cell phones, beepers, and talking will distract the performers, thereby disrupting the connection between stage and auditorium and weakening the performance. Just as importantly, those around noisy audience members will miss hearing or seeing elements of a live performance that will not be repeated.
ONE-MINUTE ETIQUETTE REMINDER
Please read to students on the bus prior to entering the theatre.
Stay in the group to be seated. Your school or class will be called and seated as a group. Sit in the seat to which you are assigned. If you move or refuse to take a particular seat, you will delay our seating other members of your group as well as other groups. No food, drink, gum-chewing, headsets, or backpacks in the theatre. Please leave lunches, snacks and backpacks on the bus. NO TALKING OR GETTING UP DURING THE SHOW. This includes whispering. Every live performance is a unique experience, created jointly by actors and audience members present for a specific presentation. Live performances vary greatly from recorded TV programs or movies because the audience’s reactions are not only obvious to the performers but are relied upon by them as signals that they presenting the best performance possible, regardless of the type of reaction—applause, laughter, crying or even quiet but responsive attention— because the actors can see and hear you. Please do not talk, act or distract attention from the stage. Please use the restrooms before the show or at intermission only. If you have any problems or questions, please ask the ushers for help. Enjoy yourself!
Why We Attend Theatre Oscar Brockett, from The Theatre: An Introduction Art is one way whereby mankind seeks to understand the world. . . .Our search for meaning . . . is always directed toward discovering those relationships that reveal order within what would otherwise seem to be chance events. Art, then, . . . shapes perceptions about human experience into . . . patterned relationships that help us order our views about mankind and the universe. . . . The artist . . . works primarily from his or her own perceptions and seeks to involve the audience’s emotions, imagination, and intellect directly. A playwright consequently presents events as though they are occurring at that moment before our eyes; we absorb them in the way we absorb life itself—through their direct operation on our senses. Thus, as art differs from life by stripping away irrelevant details and organizing events to compose a connected pattern, so a play illuminates and comments (though sometimes indirectly) on human experience even as it seemingly creates human experience. But, just as we do not mistake a statue for a real person, we do not mistake stage action for reality. Rather, we usually view a play with what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called a “willing suspension of disbelief.” By this concept he meant that, while we know the events of a play are not real, we agree for the moment not to disbelieve their reality. . . This state in which we are sufficiently detached to view an artistic event semi-objectively is sometimes called esthetic distance. [However], the distance must not be so great as to induce indifference. Therefore, while a degree of detachment is necessary, [audience] involvement is of equal importance. This feeling of kinship is sometimes called empathy. Thus, we watch a play with a double sense of concern and detachment. It is both a removed and an intensified reaction of a kind seldom possible outside esthetic experience. Another way of putting this is that art (that is, a statue, a musical composition, or a drama) lifts us above the everyday fray and gives us something like a “god’s-eye” view of human experience. . . . Art lays claim . . . to being serious (in the sense of having something important to communicate), but because its methods are so indirect (it presents experience but does not attempt to explain it fully) it is often ambiguous . . . . Special Attributes of Theatre as an Art. Even within the fine arts theatre holds a special place; it is the art that comes closest to life as it is lived from day to day. Not only is human experience and action its subject, it also uses live human beings (actors) as its primary means of communicating with an audience. Quite often the speech of the performers approximates that heard in real life; the actors may wear costumes that might be seen on the street; and they may perform in settings that recall actual places. Not all theatre attempts to be so realistic and at times it may even approximate other performing arts (such as dance and music), but nevertheless it is the art most capable of recreating mankind’s typical experiences. Such lifelikeness is also one of the reasons theatre is often insufficiently valued: a play, a setting, the acting may so resemble what is familiar to spectators that they fail to recognize how difficult it is to produce this lifelikeness skillfully. To a certain degree all people are actors; they vary the roles they play (almost do subject matter on the grounds that an audience goes to the theatre to escape from cares rather than to be confronted with problems. . . . Other persons look to theatre for stimulation. They too desire to be entertained, but argue that the theatre should also provide new insights and provocative perceptions about significant topics, advocate action about political and social issues, or increase awareness of and sensitivity to others and surroundings. . . . Both points of view are valid in part, but adherents of neither point of view should attempt to limit unduly the
theatre’s offerings. The whole range of drama should be available to audiences, for the health of the theatre depends upon breadth of appeal. In America today the success of a play is frequently judged by its ability to attract large audiences over a considerable period of time. But is a play to be considered a failure if it does not achieve financial success? Not necessarily. A dramatist has a right to select his or her audience just as much as an audience has to select a play. Actually, dramatists do so when they choose the subject matter, characters, and techniques to be used, for, consciously or unconsciously, they have an ideal spectator in mind. Although playwrights may hope for universal acceptance, each desires the favorable response of a particular group. Consequently, a play may be deemed successful if it achieves the desired response from the audience for which it was primarily intended. . . . The Problem of Value. It is difficult to defend art on the basis of its immediate utility. Art ultimately must be valued because of its capacity to improve the quality of life: by increasing our sensitivity to others and our surroundings, by sharpening our perceptions, by reshaping our values so that moral and societal concerns take precedence over material well-being. Of all the arts, theatre has perhaps the greatest potential as a humanizing force, for at its best it asks us to enter imaginatively into the lives of others so we may understand their aspirations and motivations. Through role-playing (either in daily life or in the theatre) we come to understand who and what we are and to see ourselves in relation to others. Perhaps most important, in a world given increasingly to violence, the value of being able to understand and feel for others as human beings cannot be overestimated, because violence flourishes most fully when we so dehumanize others that we no longer think of their hopes, aims, and sufferings but treat them as objects to be manipulated or on whom to vent our frustrations. To know (emotionally, imaginatively, and intellectually) what it means to be human in the broadest sense ought to be one of the primary goals of both education and life; for reaching that goal no approach has greater potential than theatre, since humans are its subject and living beings its primary medium. ... Unfortunately, quality—unlike quantity—is not measurable except subjectively. And subjectivity takes us into the realm of taste, judgment, and a host of variables about which agreement is seldom possible. There are many levels of taste, many degrees of complexity, and a wide range of quality. But, if we cannot expect ever to achieve complete agreement, we all can sharpen our own perceptions of the theatre and its processes. To do this, we need first to understand the theatre and how it works. Second, we need to develop some approach through which we can judge the relative merits of what is performed and how it is performed. Then, we should work to encourage those theatrical values that seem important to us. In this way we may acquire understanding and judgment—that is, we become critics of the theatre. . . . Understanding/appreciating the Technical Elements A performance does not just happen; it is the product of a great deal of teamwork. The technical elements of a production support the characters the actors create to present the audience with the illusionary reality that is theatre. Sets, lights, sound, props, and costumes create the environment in which the play lives. These elements combine with the audience’s imagination to fashion a theatrical reality that is different from our dayto-day lives yet recognizable by all involved. The following discussion questions are intended to help students focus on each of these technical elements and analyze its part in a production. Section A: Scenery Before the performance began, what were your first impressions of the set design? How did it make you feel? Which of your senses were involved by the set design? What was the physicality of the stage? Did the set incorporate any theatrical devices such as a rake, a thrust, ramps or stairs onstage, or the voms or pit in the audience? What type of action did you expect? As the performance progressed, did the set change from scene to scene or did it remain the same for the entire play? Were the changes of location made by actual set alterations or by the actors’ use of the set?
How was the stage used? Did the action take place across the whole stage or was action contained in small areas? What could you tell about each environment and the time period of the used area? Was movement between areas fluid or rigid? Did the actors move around the set in purposeful motion or did action flow from one area to another? What materials and color schemes were used for walls, the deck (stage floor), set pieces? Did the materials and colors fit the time and location of the play? Did the colors suggest a mood or atmosphere to you? Were you able to concentrate on the action and characters or did the elements of the set attract your attention? After viewing the performance, do you feel the set design supported the play? Did it make sense to you? Would you have done anything differently? What and why? Section B: Costumes What could you tell about each of the characters based on his or her appearance before any action took place? Did the costumes influence your expectations or opinion of each character? Did the costumes put you in the appropriate time period and geographical setting (if any)? Did the style of the costumes match or enhance the characters’ personalities and social situations and the mood of the play? How did the colors and materials used compliment or contrast with the colors and materials of the set? Did the colors and materials group the characters in any way? Were there any parts of the costumes you found distracting or out of place? Section C: Lighting What clues did the lighting give you about the mood or emotional tone of the play? Was the lighting from an identifiable source or did it blend into the setting? Was the lighting supportive of the action or distracting? Was it ever supposed to be distracting? Could you identify the colors that were used? Why do you think these particular shades were chosen? Did any one character have a particular shade or degree of lighting? Sometimes lighting is used together with suggestive scenery or certain pieces of furniture to imply that a certain area onstage is always perceived as a specific place. Did you see this in this performance’s design? Section D: Sound What types of sounds were used? Were the sounds environmental noise or in response to specific character actions (for example: crickets chirping in the summer or a gunshot)? Was sound or music used to create or enhance the atmosphere, or to foreshadow events? Were certain sounds or musical motifs associated with certain characters or repeated situations? Did the sounds fit the situation or distract you from the performance? Were the sounds correct for time period and location, or did they comment on the time and place? Section E: Props Were the props appropriate to the time period and setting? Were they in keeping with the rest of the setting (including color choices in setting and costumes)? Did some or all of them comment on the setting as a whole? Did the characters have all the props they needed for the scenes? Did they have too many props? Did they have fewer props than you expected? What did you learn about the characters’ situation or background from their possessions? Remember that props include furniture, books, purses, wagons, plates and silverware—anything an actor touches. Section F: General
What non-actor aspect of the performance impacted you the most? Was this aspect more textual or physical? Did the technical elements of the performance enhance or detract from your enjoyment of the play? Would you have changed anything about this production? How would you have changed it? Why?
Understanding/appreciating the Play in Performance Suggested by: Katherine Ommanney’s The Stage and the School The following questions may help you to view shows intelligently, but don’t let them spoil your enjoyment of the theatre or turn you into a commentator during the performance! Real enthusiasts of the theatre free their imaginations and emotions while seeing a play or a picture, while using their intelligence and discrimination to heighten their appreciation of this great art. Section A: Theme In your opinion, is the fundamental idea of the play true or false in its concept of life? Is the theme consistent with the setting, plot and characters presented in the play? Do you agree with the author’s philosophy? In your opinion, should the general public be encouraged to see the play? Section B: Plot Is there a clear-cut sequence of events? Do they rise to a gripping climax? Were you held in suspense until the end or did you realize what the ending would be beforehand? Were you as emotionally stirred as the author apparently wanted you to be? Are you satisfied as to the final outcome? Are you chiefly interested in the events, the people, or the place? Section C: Characterization Are the characters true to life? Are they consistent throughout the action of the entire play? Are the characters in keeping with the social and geographical background of the play? Do they arouse such feelings as sympathy, affection, disgust, admiration, or hatred on the part of the audience? Are their actions in keeping with their motives? Are the situations at the climax and conclusion the result of their inherent natures? Section D: Style Did the dialogue retain your interest throughout the play? Is it consistent with the characters and the setting? Is it an end in itself or an adequate means of plot advancement and characterization? Did it make you think about the author or the characters themselves? Did or do you remember lines after having seen the play because of their appropriateness or beauty? If a dialect or dialects are used were they correct? Did the actors use them consistently? Would people of the class represented talk in real life as they do in the play? Is the power of expression worthy of the ideas expressed?
Section E: Acting Were the actors’ interpretations of their roles correct from the standpoint of the play itself? Did each actor make his or her role a living individual? Were the actors artificial or natural in their technique? Were you conscious of the ways they sought to create effects? Did they grip you emotionally—did you weep, laugh, suffer, and exult with them? Were their voices pleasing and their presence magnetic? Did they remain in character every moment? Did or do you think of them as the characters they were depicting or as themselves? Did the actors use the play as a means of self-glorification, or were each of them an intrinsic part of the action at all times? Did each cooperate with the other actors, the director, and the author in interpreting the play: by knowing his or her lines, helping to focus attention on the center of interest, and by losing himself or herself in the part? Section F: Audience Reaction Was the audience attentive or restless during the performance? Was there a definite response—gasps, laughter, applause? Did the audience express any immediate appreciation of clever lines, dramatic situations, and skillful acting? Was the audience apathetic or animated, bored or buoyant, serious or scoffing? Was the applause spontaneous and whole-hearted, or politely perfunctory? Did it seem to you that some audience members enjoyed the play more than others? Do you think this was because of their own personal background, or some other reason?
L. Frank Baum, royal historian, proprietor Born Lyman Frank Baum on May 15, 1856, just east of Syracuse in Chittenango, NY, Baum never used his first name since he preferred Frank. A sickly child with a weak heart who was both timid and shy, he kept to himself and made up imaginary places and playmates since he had to refrain from strenuous exercise, much as Robert Louis Stevenson did. Throughout Frank’s life, his health was a constant impediment, but it never impeded his creativity, drive and talent. When Frank was about 5 years old, his father Benjamin Baum struck it rich in the oil business and the family moved to Rose Lawn Estate, a country home near Chittenango. Rose Lawn was an idyllic place for young Frank to grow up; he was very happy there. Undoubtedly young Frank developed his creative side more than most since he was not allowed to play physically like other children his age. Frank read fairy tales and British writers voraciously, and he especially enjoyed Dickens. But even at his young age, he criticized the fairy tales that were frightening and horrifying, “I demanded fairy stories when I was a youngster . . . and I was a critical reader too. One thing I never liked then, and that was the introduction of witches and goblins into the story. I didn’t like the little dwarfs in the woods bobbing up with their horrors.” These fairy stories contributed to his nightmares. Frank made the decision that he would write a different kind of fairy tale. In time, Frank’s parents sent him away to Peekskill Military School to rid him of his fanciful demeanor; he had always been home schooled prior to this experience. However it did not curb his whimsical nature but instead resulted in his suffering a temporarily debilitating attack, and his parents allowed him to withdraw. Soon thereafter his parents began to nurture Frank’s creative interests. Frank’s initial attempt at writing and publishing was his own small newspaper called The Rose Lawn Home Journal. His father bought him a small printing press after Frank showed an interest in a commercial one; he was fifteen when he began this paper with his younger brother Harry. The newspaper contained articles, editorials, fiction, poetry, and word games. The Rose Lawn Home Journal did well and some of the local stores bought advertisement space for their services. In 1873, Frank started a new paper called The Empire as well as a philatelic periodical, The Stamp Collector.
Early on Frank demonstrated his resourcefulness, drive and creativity. He always had many interests and one of them was tending chickens. With the help of his father and brother Harry, he began to breed Hamburgs, small colorful birds which were popular at the time, and they soon won awards. Frank then began a new magazine called The Poultry Record. His first book, The Book of Hamburgs, A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs, was published in 1886. Throughout his life, Frank did well at most things he attempted. His most influential interest was the theatre, which loved and supported throughout his life. He took acting seriously and viewed it as an art. “When he went to plays, he studied actor’s techniques. He memorized passages from Shakespeare, and then, with money from his father, he formed a Shakespearean troupe.” As a young man, he entertained the thought of being an actor. He finally got a taste of the stage with Albert M. Palmer’s Union Square Theatre in New York. Frank took the stage names Louis F. Baum and George Brooks. Benjamin Baum owned a string of opera houses in New York and Pennsylvania and, seeing his son’s enthusiasm and love of the theatre, made him their manager in 1880; eventually Benjamin gave them to him. As he learned what delighted the audiences, Frank set to work on writing plays, of which, The Maid of Arran became an immediate success. “It was based on a novel, A Princess of Thule, by the Scottish novelist William Black.” Frank was the leading man and manager of The Maid of Arran company. Overall, the reviews were very positive and inflamed Frank’s passion for the Cover for Maid of theatre. Arran sheet music While Frank was home on holiday he met the other love of his life, Maud Gage. Maud came from a prosperous family who lived in Fayetteville, NY. Maud’s mother, Matilda Joslyn Gage, was a nationally known feminist, and her father was a dry-goods merchant. It is interesting to note that Matilda worked with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in her later years: it was in the Gage home that these three women wrote The History of Woman Suffrage. At his sister Harriet’s insistence, Frank agreed to meet Maud at a party, who was still at Cornell University. After the holiday season, Maud went back to school and the admiration of other male suitors and Frank stayed with the company. Baum later recalled his feelings after meeting Maud: “My show had some free time between bookings. At every opportunity I returned to Syracuse, borrowed a horse and buggy from Father, and drovedrove the eight miles to Fayetteville.” Frank began courting Maud soon after meeting her. Matilda Gage was not thrilled by Frank for he seemed rather flighty, a dreamer type and she thought him an unsuitable match for her daughter. However, against the wishes of her mother, Maud and Frank were married on November 9, 1882. Maud went along with Frank and The Maid of Arran company on tour, but when Maud became pregnant with their first child, Baum found a new leading man to take his place, trained a new company manager, and rented a home in Syracuse. Maud soon took over the family finances and the role of disciplinarian, for it was known that these were not Frank’s strong suits. In many respects, Frank and Maud were exact opposites. She was headstrong, strong willed and temperamental. Frank, on the other hand, was low key, optimistic, eventempered and whimsical. For Baum, “years of living in the shadow of a heart ailment had taught him to avoid upsets that might bring on an attack.” Maud was raised in a much stricter environment though she seems to have had her way with her parents, and was spoiled in a certain respect. “Maud Baum often mentioned that peace and harmony had always graced her home, but those who knew the family best felt that this was true only because Frank, from the time of their marriage until his death 37 years later, allowed her to have her own way with the household, the children, and the family purse.” Whatever their secret formula was to a happy marriage, it seemed their opposite natures were a good combination. Maud Gage Baum During this time, Frank’s health was less than perfect. Baum had suffered one heart attack shortly before his marriage, and in the summer of 1883 his uncertain health was indicated by nausea and dizzy spells. Once settled in Syracuse, Baum worked in sales for his father’s Castorine [an oil byproduct] business. In 1884, trouble hit with full force: Frank’s uncle Doc, then managing the theatrical establishments, became quite ill and a bookkeeper was hired to replace him. Unfortunately, by the time Doc was ready to go back to work, the bookkeeping was so illegible that it was impossible to follow. As it became clear that funds had been
terribly mismanaged, the bookkeeper conveniently disappeared. Frank only managed to stay afloat by working as head salesman for his father. Shortly after Frank’s father died, the family fortune began to wane. During this time, Frank was preoccupied with his own fragile health, his hectic sales schedule, the birth of his second son, and his Uncle Doc’s failing health. When business was left in the hands of a clerk, they were taken advantage of again, their money gambled away while bills went unpaid. They lost everything. “In the spring of 1888 Baum returned to Syracuse early one morning from a sales trip and went directly to the office. He unlocked the door, entered, and was stunned to find the clerk sprawled across the desk—dead. The revolver with which he had shot himself was still in his hand.” Forced to sell the business, Frank and Maud decided (at Maud’s suggestion) to move out west to the Dakota territory. “Western Fever” was the talk of the day. Many families were migrating, including Maud’s relatives. In Aberdeen, Frank operated a general store that he named Baum’s Bazaar. It sold a variety of goods from tableware, household goods, tinware and lamps to toys and candy. There were always plenty of children around the store for they liked to listen to Frank tell stories of faraway places and enchanted lands. “The Bazaar always was crowded with youngsters after school. Some bought a penny’s worth of candy or ice cream. . . . Many came to hear stories . . . that Baum could be persuaded to tell.” Unfortunately, due to a terrible drought customers had no money to buy anything, and Baum’s compassion for his neighbors led him to extend such credit that the Baums lost Baum’s Bazaar in 1890. Still, Frank never lost hope or relinquished his creativity and resourcefulness. He began managing a weekly newspaper called The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. He sold advertisements, set the type, ran the press, and wrote: the skills he acquired as a boy came in handy. To defray costs, though, the paper also included syndicated editorials rife with disparaging racial comments and intolerant attitudes toward Native Americans. It was a well-liked paper but the scarce Dakota years got the best of him and in 1891 Frank lost the Pioneer to bankruptcy. He reportedly responded by saying, “I decided the sheriff wanted the paper more than I.” Throughout his life, Frank loved children and they adored him. He never stopped believing in the creative powers of the imagination. While working at the paper, he would see his truly faithful story listeners: “Often, as Baum would walk down the streets of Aberdeen on his rounds for news and advertising, he would be stopped by children demanding a story. He would sit down on the edge of the dusty wooden sidewalk . . . and spin one of his yarns of magic countries.” These children forecast his future; they saw his genius for storytelling. Baum decided that moving onward a second time was the smartest choice, and he was right. Chicago’s 1893 World Columbian Exposition seemed a logical place to find employment. Frank first worked as a reporter for the Evening Post but the pay was so slight he became a traveling salesman for a china company, Pitkin and Brooks. Maud’s mother Matilda would stay with her and help when Frank traveled. As Matilda overheard her son-in-law telling the children stories she came to admire his storytelling abilities, encouraging him to write the stories down and publish them. Frank often recited “to the boys [their] favorite Mother Goose rhymes. [Then] they would ask him, for instance, how blackbirds baked in a pie could later come out and sing and get what Harry remembered as a satisfactory answer. Often neighborhood friends of the older boys would drop in for the storytelling hour.” Baum had the ability to capture a child’s imagination and create timeless worlds. He states in the introduction to The Lost Princess of Oz, Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams—day dreams—with your eyes wide open—are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it. L. Frank Baum
While traveling, Frank would write in hotel rooms on scrap paper or anything available.
While in Chicago, Baum would visit with the Chicago Press Club, which he had joined in his newspaper days. He mentioned to a popular novelist, Opie Read, about his versions of Mother Goose stories and that he was looking for a publisher. Through Read he met Chancey L. Williams of Way & Williams Publishing. With illustrator Maxfield Parrish, Baum’s Mother Goose stories became Mother Goose in Prose in1897. About this time, Frank began to have nasal hemorrhages and terrible chest pains. A heart specialist advised him to find a more sedentary job, rather than travel. Smoking cigars as he did throughout his life probably didn’t help but he did not relinquish them. The Show Window, a monthly trade magazine that Baum started, was one of Baum’s successful creative ventures that he continued until 1902 when it was sold. His days with the Baum Bazaar and with Pitkin and Brooks had given him a keen eye for window design. Baum was able to enliven the topic, “by publishing short stories by Stanley Waterloo and Gardner C. Teall, and by writing himself about the values of window advertising.” Being a magazine editor gave Baum more time to frequent the Press Club. Through his friend Opie Read, he met William W. Denslow, or Den. Denslow was described as being serious and gruff, quite the opposite of Baum, which may have led to the downfall of their relationship. Denslow sported a large walrus moustache and was known to wear a beautiful red vest that he liked to show off while at the Baum home, Den drawing pictures to fit the verse. Their first venture was Father Goose, His Book, published in 1899; it was the bestselling children’s book of the year. Baum had finally hit it just right. It was so popular that it spurred The Songs of Father Goose, in which some of the verses were put to music. The combination of Baum’s verses and Denslow’s illustrations were the perfect mixture to please a child, which was Baum’s original purpose. Sales of the Mother/Father Goose books allowed the Baums to spend several summers at Macatawa Park, Michigan, a resort along the shore of Lake Michigan. They bought a summer cottage that Frank named “The Sign of the Goose.” Frank made all the cottage furniture by hand: large rocking chairs, a grandfather’s clock, a small bookcase, as well as other creations. He engraved and stenciled geese into some of the woodwork, as well as into a stained glass window, a hobby he took up after recovering from an attack of facial paralysis. Baum also wrote there, including a book about Macatawa entitled Tamawaca Folks: A Summer Comedy. The Baum-Denslow team would produce Frank’s most lasting and popular piece of work, The Wizard of Oz. The most worthy and notable of Baum’s creations was the story of Dorothy and the Scarecrow and the other inhabitants of Oz, which not surprisingly, began as a story told to some of the young neighborhood children and his own children. He wrote out the story, which he titled The Emerald City. His publisher, the Hill Company, had a superstitious notion about a book with a jewel in its title, so Frank finally came up with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum had wanted to write a new kind of fairy tale because of the frightening themes he remembered as a child. It has been suggested that Baum never totally created a purely American fairy tale for he did borrow ideas from the European tradition such as witches, wizards, magical shoes, etc. Interestingly he had a recurrent nightmare about a scarecrow who chased him, yet the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz is a friendly companion of Dorothy’s. The Wizard of Oz has been equated with a utopian socialist society because of the inhabitant’s notions of happiness and love, their economy and peaceful ways. It has the universal theme and appeal of fantasy couched in sensible terms. Everyone can understand being lost and trying to get home, feeling alienated and misunderstood, yet simultaneously feeling the excitement of meeting new friends in distant lands in a fanciful adventure; thus, Dorothy’s journey is taken by many. Oz was carefully created with many countries within its borders, each with its own rulers, where the colors of the land coordinated with the inhabitant’s clothing. The characters are interesting, endearing and unforgettable. Maud said of her husband, “Frank knew how to cater to the tastes of children. He wrote their language . . . .” The Baum–Denslow team were to work together on a few more books and projects following their success with The Wizard of Oz. In 1902, they collaborated with Paul Tietjens and Julien Mitchell to produce an adult version of The Wizard of Oz as a musical, a major success that toured the nation. But over time Frank and Den found it more and more impossible to agree and so parted ways. Baum went onto produce 17 sequels to the Oz books. (In fact he named the family dog Toto and their home in California Ozcot.) Children would send him letters constantly telling him how enjoyable and delightful
The Wizard of Oz was and would beg him to write more of them. Since the Oz stories appealed to both young and old he received fan mail from both. Baum noted, “My books are intended for all those whose hearts are young, no matter what their ages may be.” People could not get enough of Oz so a small newspaper, The Ozmapolitan was issued in 1905. Baum was the Royal Historian of Oz until his death. Baum did not want to write as many sequels as he did, but he could not refuse children’s requests. While “recording” the history of Oz he also wrote other books under different pen names so he could try other themes and situations, not just the happy place of Oz. For example, Aunt Jane’s Nieces became a very Maud he hoped she would remain in their home when he was gone where they had been so happy. The next day, while in a semi-comatose state, Frank’s breathing became very erratic and unsteady, and as he slipped from one world into the next, he managed to whisper to Maud, “Now we can cross the Shifting Sands.” Literary Chronology The Wizard of Oz (originally published as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) (1900) The Land of Oz (originally published as The Marvelous Land of Oz) (1904) Ozma of Oz (1907) Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908) The Road to Oz (1909) The Emerald City of Oz (1910) The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913) Tik-Tok of Oz (1914) The Scarecrow of Oz (1915) Rinkitink in Oz (1916) The Lost Princess of Oz (1917) The Tin Man of Oz (1918) The Magic of Oz (1919) Glinda of Oz (1920) The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People Queen Zixi of Ix, or the Story of the Magic Cloak The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus A Kidnapped Santa Claus The Sea Fairies Sky Island: Being the Further Exciting Adventures of Trot and Cap’n Bill after Their Visits to the Sea Fairies The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale Dot and Tot of Merryland Preface to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz www.wonderfulwizardofoz.com/ Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations. Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as “historical” in the children’s library; for the time has come for a series of newer “wonder tales” in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.
Having this thought in mind, the story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.
L. Frank Baum Chicago, April 1900 The Director’s Vision Bob Moss During a few quiet moments before a recent rehearsal, Bob Moss had these thoughts he wanted to share with audiences coming to see The Wizard of Oz. Keen observers may notice a Syracusan theme to the settings. Mr. Moss hastens to point out that this is not due to L. Frank Baum’s young life here (Baum left Syracuse for the west in 1888) but rather because, as much as we Central New Yorkers complain about the weather, we stay here because it’s our home, and it is beautiful; we actually love it here, much as Dorothy realizes how much she really loves her Kansas home with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. (We’re the more fortunate because here in CNY there are no twisters to pick up our houses and move them somewhere else!) Beyond that, The Wizard of Oz is a tale about growing up: just before the cyclone hits, the adults Dorothy lives with “fail” her when they allow Miss Gulch to take Toto away; once in Oz, no one seems to be able to send Dorothy home, thus “failing” her again, so Dorothy matter-of-factly makes her own way; in Moss’ view she is emboldened to do so. When Dorothy does return to Kansas, the adults around her say she has simply had a bad dream, but Dorothy knows she has not. Mr. Moss will not take either side but let audiences decide for themselves what the people, places and events of Oz really mean. Still, he notes that American literature, particularly our drama, is rife with dreams and illusions: prime examples are Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh and many plays by Tennessee Williams. One wonders if life is possible without dreams (Langston Hughes, of course, would say no [“Hold fast to dreams/for when dreams die/life is a broken winged bird/that cannot fly”]). It will be interesting to find out what audiences think!
The Wizard of Oz: an American Fairy Tale From: Fairy Tales and After and L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz A great deal of Frank Baum’s writing, especially the tales for the younger set, have been identified as American fairy tales by critical writers. Roger Sale’s Fairy Tales and After, though a bit dated, provides a good introduction to the genre’s origin and early development which serves as a prelude to Sale’s theses regarding several “modern” tellers of fairy tales, including Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Grahame, Lewis Carroll (to whom Frank Baum was and is often compared), and our own Royal Historian of Oz. Excerpts of Sale’s discussion of Baum’s literature are “sweetened” bits of Katharine Roger’s homage, L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz. Fairy tale literature is one of the great kinds, a body of stories that do what no other literature does. They reach back into a dateless time, speak with grave assurance of wishes and fears, harbor no moralizing, no sense of “art,” because their ways and means are varied, because there are so many stories to tell, so many ways to tell the “same” story. The term fairy tale is only a convenience since few stories we call by that name contain fairies, elves, leprechauns, or similar creatures. Yet everyone seems instinctively agreed on what the term includes and excludes, even though fairy tales blend easily into related kinds, like myths, legends, romances, realistic folk fables, and cautionary tales. “Cinderella,” “Sinbad the Sailor,” and “Hansel and Gretel” are fairy tales, while the stories of Kin Arthur, Pandora, Patient Griselda, and the Ancient Mariner are not. . . . Some sense of historical change can help a great deal here. The crucial point about fairy tales is that they became children’s literature but were nothing of the sort for most of their long years of existence.
Indeed, fairy tales could not have been children’s literature originally, because, at least in our sense, children and childhood did not exist until recent centuries. To begin to contemplate the importance of that is to begin not only to understand what fairy tales are not, but to glimpse what we can best presume they once were. Childhood was invented, and when it was, children’s literature followed quite naturally. As for what was before the invention of childhood, here is a summary offered by Philip Aries at the end of his long and painstakingwork on the subject, Centuries of Childhood: “In the Middle Ages, at the beginning of modern times, and for a long time after that in the lower class, children were mixed with adults as soon as they were considered capable of doing without their mothers or nannies, not long after a tardy weaning (in other words, at about the age of seven). They immediately went straight into the great community of men, sharing in the work and play of their companions, old and young alike.” Aries is describing a world that lived with the most rudimentary—as we might think of it—conception of maturity as a physical matter. If there were stage the growth of children, they were simply before and after infancy. . . . Since children were either nursing infants or small adults, families did not have the importance they later came to have in a more [middle-class] society: “The family fulfilled a function; it ensured the transmission of life, property, and names; but it did not penetrate very far into human sensibility. Myths such as courtly and precious love denigrated marriage, while realities such as the apprenticeship of children loosened the motional bond between parents and children. . . .” If, with this in mind, we then think of the relations between parents and children as seen in fairy tales, we may be less surprised at how straightforward, unanguished, and even businesslike they usually seem. The parents in “Hop o’ My Thumb” and “Hansel and Gretel” must abandon their children, . . . the miller in “Rumpelstiltskin” sells his daughter because h has boasted about her, . . . and at no point do any of these children protest or show so much as momentary resentment at their treatment. . . . . In the introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), L. Frank Baum writes: “For the time has come for a series of newer ‘wonder tales’ in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder-tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incidents.” . . . [Baum] wants an American’ children’s literature that is free of morality and of disagreeable incident as well. . . . If there is one distinctive quality about Baum’s works, and about American children’s literature in general, it is a sunny air of naïveté which, more often than not, does not try to hide a gloomy or obsessed concern. It is not realistic literature for the most part, but it tends to include or to accommodate the real with an ease, even a optimism, that is generally not found in European children’s books. . . It should not be surprising that American children’s literature remained predominantly rural long after the country itself became predominantly urban, and often without strain, or nostalgia, or self-conscious pastoralism. If very little of it is great, it is often surprising to rediscover how delightful a great deal of it is. America is an enchanted land . . .; it enchants by its ease, its unselfconsciousness, its naïveté. And the first to achieve this, and still the best, is Baum. . . . Baum enjoyed almost total mobility of body and spirit [during his life], and whatever made him a success or failure at any one thing seems to have had little bearing on what he did next. Not rootless, not a gypsy, he was a man with a large family that he loved, a man apparently at home anywhere, or as much in one place as in another. [Like his father,] Baum had a knack for both making and losing money and—a probable explanation for this knack—of gaining and losing interest quickly. Almost all reports speak of his charm, pleasantness, energy, and easy ability to get along with others. . . . The consistently enchanting Oz figures, Dorothy and Tip and the other [Ozians] show us [that] they must rely on their native sense of themselves and let that be enough. The fact that what is magical about them is their spirit and their presence and not their knowledge gives us the clue to Baum’s achievement. They do not fuss, they immerse themselves in the present, which makes them children, to be sure, but it also makes them important. . . . The extraordinary freshness of [Baum’s] writing lies in Dorothy’s never thinking about how she got where she is, or how she is going to get away, or how she might have done differently or have avoided danger. To be able to go, without meaning to, into a strange and magical land, and to be able to accept each moment there as it comes and for what it brings—it is like having it always be morning, to be always setting
out, and that is one of the most enchanting and elusive of life’s possibilities. . . . Dorothy . . . does not worry or fret or plan, and so everything can be fully itself. . . . Dorothy’s ability to accept her presence in some strikingly strange [situations], is and must be closely related to Baum’s sense of plot or story. Few of the works discussed in this book [Fairy Tales and After] have a strong sense of narrative lasting much longer than an episode, and it may well be that the kind of brightness and vividness in authors otherwise as diverse Road, meets the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, is challenged by the Wizard, kills the Wicked Witch of the West with a bucket of water.] Each event is complete in itself, and what holds the sequence together is only a very loose sense of narrative, one that does not impinge on Dorothy’s allowing every action to be entered into for itself alone and not for what it allows one to go from or toward. . . . Baum wrote quickly and never seems to have worried if he could sustain his interest for the length of a whole book. He seems to have known when he began a book who he wanted it to start, and perhaps where he wanted it to end, but he left the middle to be contrived as he went along. . . . [As Rogers notes, “Baum had explained [during his writing career that] his fairy tales started with spontaneous inspirations for odd characters and ideas, which he then had to develop into a coherent plot.”] The essence of Baum is his restless, careless ease, his indifference to the complexities of life, his eagerness to describe what enchanted him without ever exploring or understanding it. Such people often become entertainers of one sort or another, but they seldom become writers. It might be said he had a knack for writing the way some people have a knack for singing or dancing or hitting a baseball. He obviously enjoyed writing, but his view of himself as a pleaser of audiences and his indifference to any disciplining of his genius meant he often wrote a good deal he didn’t want to write. He wanted above all, as we have seen, to avoid the “horrible and blood-curdling incident” he found in European fairy tales, and yet, more than once, he fell into writing such incidents almost as if without knowing he was doing so. [However,] Baum’s usual definition of “evil” was only a presumed adult who acts childishly and is preemptory or has temper tantrums . .. Baum’s was such a rare gift [for writing] that it seems almost impertinent to ask how good he is, or how much he achieved, or to try to assess his books with great soberness. He was careless of his art and he seldom wrote as well as he could; he never thought hard about life or grasped its complexities; he could not, even at his best, convey sadness or fear or deep joy. He has always been scorned, or guardedly admired, by the traditional custodians of children’s literature, so he has had to find his audience in spite of teachers and librarians, for the most part. Yet his audience is still extremely large long after he and his naïve view of life have departed. The virtues of which these many apparently crushing limitations are only the defects are virtues of the sort we believe to exist in life far more than we ever expect to see in literature, and so Baum is rightly treasured more than many who seem to have a better claim on our respect and on our imagination. . . . The magic itself . . . is not the important quality in the Oz books; it exists mostly as validation of that other magic that is the child’s wonderful acceptance of situation, self, and journey. That validation is total, and so the child and Baum’s readers are never deceived, never shown anything they cannot trust or whose motives are ulterior; they need never be suspicious or mistrustful, never be grown up, and the readers can envy the child without folly or other penalty. As a guide to life it is as naïve as it is essential. To be free of self and of the nagging necessities of maturity is usually to be irresponsible and wasteful, but on the roads to Oz it is truly liberating and enchanting, the challenge and promise of the morning. . . .
Baum’s Utopia: Oz From: When Dreams Came True and L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz Jack Zipes and Katharine Rogers are only 2 of the writers who have described what L. Frank Baum’s vision was for his “marvelous land,” Oz. They believe Baum sought to create not just a land of wonders but an ideal place where his non-Oz characters like Dorothy could have adventures of many kinds, none of which are beyond their abilities to deal with. Following is a diverse “essay,” composed of selections from their books on Baum.
[Baum] had conceived this marvelous land and its inhabitants [from] a deeply rooted desire in himself and his readers to live in a peaceful country, one that maintained tolerance for the weirdest creatures and strange behavior in communities such as Crystal City, China Country, Time Town, Regalia, Blankenburg, and many others that were generally autonomous. That country was not America, and the more Baum cultivated the socialist-utopian relations and principles of Oz, the more he and his readers shared this knowledge. . . . [Katharine Rogers notes that in Oz, (quoting Baum)] “everyone worked half the time and played half the time, and the people enjoyed the work as much as they did the play, because it was good to be occupied and have something to do” and because they were never watched by cruel or fault-finding overseers. . . .Goods were given freely to whoever needed them; in those brief periods of scarcity that visited Oz supplies were “taken from the great storehouses of the Ruler, which were afterward filled up again when there was more of any article than the people needed.” . . . Freed from repression and from social and economic problems, the Oz people are nicer than those outside because they are happier. Although they are governed by an absolute monarch [for most of the series, Ozma] is wise and benevolent and therefore lets them express themselves as eccentrically as they like, so long as they do not harm others. Free, happy people do not want to harm others and cheerfully obey the few laws that are necessary; hence, there are no law courts or prisons. Love and friendliness are the rule in Oz, and they always elicit a positive response. The weather, now “always beautiful,” reflects that of Baum’s new home, Southern California. . . . Baum’s Oz reflects the thinking of progressive contemporaries who were appalled by the misery produced by [the] exploitative big business, industrialization, and wide class distinctions [that became more and more prominent as the U.S. moved into the 20th century]. Many writers preached the need for a system that would distribute wealth more fairly and would thereby eliminate poverty and a criminal class, as well as the distraction of destructive competition to acquire unlimited wealth. In the America of 2000 described in Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888), wealth is fairly distributed because capital is controlled by a great national trust, rather than greedy and irresponsible private corporations. War no longer exists, but all citizens work during their middle years in the government’s “industrial army,” in jobs best suited to their natural aptitudes; in return, all their physical and mental needs are provided for throughout their lives. “Buying and selling is considered absolutely inconsistent with the mutual benevolence and disinterestedness which should prevail between citizens and the sense of community of interest which supports our social system” All work is equally respected, and all citizens have the same income. With equal wealth and equal opportunities for culture, all citizens belong to one class, corresponding to the most fortunate class in the present  society. Freed from burdensome housework by electrical devices and communal laundries and kitchens, women work in the industrial army like men [and take] part in government. “Our girls are as full of ambition for their careers as our boys. Marriage . . . does not mean incarceration . . . nor [does it] separate them . . . from the larger interests of society,” although mothers of small children do retire temporarily from outside work. Since all, including mothers who work at home, get credit cards just like men, they are not dependent. Therefore they are happier than they were in traditional society and also more able to make men happy. Bellamy’s utopia would have been too regimented for Baum and is deficient in imaginative appeal and warmth. William Morris’ News from Nowhere, a utopian vision of later 20th -century England, is in these respects. “We live as we like,” a citizen says. There is no central government; decisions are made in local meetings where everyone votes and the majority carries. Even the best prison would be a disgrace to the Commonwealth because a crime is regarded the error of a friend. Adults retain their love of fairy tales, because “it is the child-like part of us that produces works of imagination.” Costumes and architecture are picturesquely medieval, and most work is done by hand. All signs of industrialization have disappeared. As in Bellamy, there are no class distinctions because no job is considered inferior to any other and, in the absence of destructive competition and greed, there are plenty of comforts and luxuries to go around. Everyone works because work is its own reward. Money is not used, for each person does his work for anyone who needs it. Everyone has “a happy and friendly expression,” and they address each other as “Neighbor.” Baum shared these two writers’ ideals of fair distribution of goods from repression and class snobbery, Bellamy’s belief in equality for women, and Morris’ value for individualism, hand craftsmanship, and
unspoiled nature. But he did not believe that the more radical ideas could be implemented in a society of people made imperfect by imperfect institutions. Such ideals work finely in Oz, but Baum does “not suppose such an arrangement would be practical with us.” He believed the populist and socialist parties of his day were too impractical to be effective. . . . [Zipes reaches a similar conclusion about the Utopian nature of Oz though he travels a slightly different path.] All of Baum’s Oz books . . . represent a creative process in which the characters share gifts and talents with one another and with readers to express the hope that base materialist and gendered interests need not determine the way people relate to one another. Oz as a utopian home is constructed from these relationships, and its gradual development in the early twentieth century serves as a counter model to the rise of capitalist commodity exchange. . . . Oz is clearly another world with its own peculiar social economy. It [does not] have a unified monetary system and commodity exchange. . . . The qualities that distinguish most of the “native” inhabitants of Oz . . . are their gentleness, generosity, and tolerance. The Munchkins and Witch of the North are grateful to Dorothy for accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East, and their first act is to give Dorothy the silver slippers as a gift [note: Dorothy’s slippers didn’t turn ruby red till the film]. They expect nothing in return, and they all want to help her find her way back to Kansas. The second thing that Dorothy receives is a kiss from the Witch of the North that will protect her. Soon she will discover that the Munchkins, who are all good farmers and raise large crops (in contrast to the situation in Kansas), do not use money. They share their food and provide lodging for Dorothy without thinking of charging her anything. Everything is free in Oz, and the value of life (the government, morality, ethics) depends on the economy of gift giving that brings with it the obligation to give, accept, and reciprocate. Gifts are not only material objects but also spiritual qualities and talents. As Lewis Hyde has made clear in his superb book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, “when gifts circulate within a group, their commerce leaves a series of interconnected relationships in its wake, and a kind of decentralized cohesiveness emerges. . . . A circulation of gifts nourishes those parts of our spirit that are not entirely personal, parts that derive from nature, the group, the race, or the gods. Furthermore, although these wider gifts are a part of us, they are not ‘ours’; they are endowments bestowed upon us. To feed them by giving away the increase they have brought with us is to accept that our participation in them brings with it an obligation to preserve their vitality.” In contrast to the gift economy, Hyde argues, the capitalist commodity system is based on the exploitation of a gift and work for profit. It involves a negative reciprocity that brings about fragmentation, individualism, and clannishness. Baum’s first novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, associates good with the vital progression of gift giving and evil with hoarding and oppression. What is spectacular in this novel is not the spectacle of the show window but the extraordinarily gracious acts of the people and creatures who uncover false spectacle. . . . The three characters Dorothy meets and seeks to help on her way to Emerald City—the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion—already possess the talents they think they lack. During their journey Baum shows that, by sharing their talents with one another, they can easily overcome adversity, and the irony of the first part of their trip is that they already are in full possession of their gifts . . . . In all his works, [Baum’s] writing and magic appear to formulate psychological principles of object relations that are to guide parents in their nurturing of children. Baum sets up a space, a unique environment, in which his young characters can play creatively and explore their potential for development in relation to a mother figure [Glinda or Ozma, who rules Oz for most of the books]. As D. W Winnicott has pointed out, “the potential space between baby and mother, between child and family, between individual and society or the world, depends on experience that leads to trust. It can be looked upon as sacred to the individual in that it is here that the individual experiences creative living.” Each novel creates its own space called Oz, which is filled with the most eccentric and peculiar creatures and things, and Baum weaves their relations in such a way that their needs are respected and fulfilled without infringing upon the instinctual drives and needs of the others. If there is conflict—and there are always conflicts and adventures—the nurturing voices and wise responses of Ozma and Glinda the Good move the involved characters toward peaceful reconciliation. Creative exploration and artistic transformation of space into a home in which all the characters feel comfortable with themselves—this is the teleological force that guides all the Oz books and perhaps has influenced the response to Oz of readers and viewers during this past century. . . .
[Rogers agrees:] Oz and most of Baum’s other fairylands are absolute monarchies partly because that seems to be the appropriate government for a fairyland. But in the case of utopian Oz, there is a better reason: Oz is modeled on the institution closest to child readers, the family, which is children’s well-being. . . . Creators of the musical Wizard of Oz Harold Arlen - Born Hymen Arluck, the son of a synagogue cantor, in Buffalo, New York on February 15, 1905 [Harold Arlen] emerged as one of the greatest of all American composers and songwriters, writing extraordinarily complex melodies and harmonies that somehow remained accessible to a broad popular audience. He grew up in Buffalo attending public schools and private music study with instructors Arnold Cornelissen and Simon Bucharoff. By age 7 he was singing in his father’s synagogue choir and by age 15 he had become a professional pianist and entertainer in nightclubs and lake steamers. In his late teens he organized The Snappy Trio, which later became The Southbound Shufflers, and the trio found its way to New York City. In Manhattan, Arlen found a home as a singer, pianist and arranger with dance bands and eventually with Arnold Johnson’s pit orchestra for the Broadway revue George White’s Scandals of 1928. Arlen appeared at the Palace Theatre in New York and did several tours with Loew’s vaudeville circuit. He continued to work on Broadway writing songs for musicals 9:15 Revue, Earl Carroll Vanities (1930 and 1932), Americana [with Yip Harburg, see below], George White’s Music Hall Varieties, and The Show is On. He also wrote entire scores for the Broadway shows You Said It, Cotton Club Parade, Life Begins at 8:40 , Hooray For What, Bloomer Girl [these last three with Harburg], St. Louis Woman, House of Flowers, Jamaica [also with Harburg], Saratoga and Free and Easy (a blues opera; Arlen was chiefly known as a blues master). Arlen collaborated with the greatest of the Tin Pan Alley lyricists, including E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, Johnny Mercer, Ted Koehler, Leo Robin, Ira Gershwin, Dorothy Fields and Truman Capote. Arlen was also active in Hollywood producing some of the greatest film musicals of the era including The Wizard of Oz, Let’s Fall In Love, Blues In the Night, Star Spangled Rhythm, Cabin In the Sky [with Harburg], Up in Arms, Kismet [not the one you’re thinking of], My Blue Heaven, Gay Purr-ee [also with Harburg], Down Among the Sheltering Palms and A Star is Born. The Harold Arlen catalog boast the standards . . . “Get Happy” (1929), “I Love a Parade” (1930), “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (1931, lyric by Ted Koehler), “I Got A Right To Sing the Blues” (1932, lyric by Ted Koehler), “I’ve Got the World on a String” (1933), “Stormy Weather” (1933, with Ted Koehler), . . . “Last Night When We Were Young” (1935, with E.Y. Harburg), “Blues in the Night” (1941, lyric by Johnny Mercer)[ Arlen taught himself how the blues were formed in order to write this, using W.C. Handy’s Treasury of the Blues as his guide], “That Old Black Magic” (1942, with Johnny Mercer), . . . “One For My Baby (And One for the Road)” (1943, with. Johnny Mercer) “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (1944, with Johnny Mercer), . . . “Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home” (1946, lyric by Johnny Mercer), . . . “Come Rain or Come Shine” (1946, with Johnny Mercer), and “The Man That Got Away” (1954, with Ira Gershwin). With a catalog of some of the greatest standards from Tin Pan Alley, the standout continues to be the unforgettable score for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, which he wrote with E. Y. “Yip” Harburg. The film score includes a collection of songs, most notably the celebrated “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Arlen was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971. E. Y. “Yip” Harburg, lyricist - “Yip” Harburg was born Isidore Hochberg to Jewish immigrant parents on the lower east side of New York City on April 8, 1898. He was nicknamed Yipsel (Yiddish for squirrel) for his constant clowning and unbounded energy. Faithful Orthodox Jews, his parents immersed Harburg in the positive aspects of the world around him, including the arts. Yiddish theatre had a profound effect upon him; the deft blending of humor, fantasy and social commentary left an indelible mark on his own work. He worked
at many jobs while growing up, including putting pickles in jars at a small pickle factory, selling newspapers, and lighting street lamps along the docks of the East River. He attended high school at Townsend Harris Hall, an experimental school for talented children, where he worked on the school newspaper with fellow student Ira Gershwin. [It was Ira who introduced Yip to Arthur Sullivan’s musical settings of W.S. Gilbert’s “poems,” otherwise known as lyrics. Both future lyricists were also contributors to a witty column edited by Franklin P. Adams, “The Conning Tower”; other contributors included playwrights George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly, Dorothy Parker, E.B. White and James Thurber.] After graduation from City College of New York in 1921, Harburg worked as a Ira Gershwin journalist in South America. When he returned to the United States, he became coproprietor of an electrical appliance company that went out of business after the 1929 stock market crash. He told Studs Terkel, “I was relived when the Crash came. I was released. Being in business was something I detested. When I found that I could sell a song or a poem, I became me, I became alive. . . . When I lost my possessions, I found my creativity.” Harburg’s old friend Gershwin loaned him some money and introduced him to a number of talented composers and writers. Harburg ventured into songwriting by writing lyrics for music by Jay Gorney, a former lawyer. . . . For the 1932 revue, Americana, they wrote what has been called “the anthem of the Depression,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Harold Meyerson notes, “It was the first theatre (or film, or pop) song to treat the wreckage of the Depression seriously. . . . Yip’s achievement . . . was to have personalized the social, to have encapsulated the destruction and upheaval of the Depression in an individual story.” Considered by Republicans to be anti-capitalist propaganda, it was almost dropped from the show and attempts were made to ban it from the radio. Harburg and Gorney were offered contracts with Paramount Pictures, and during the following decades, Harburg wrote lyrics for the music of many composers, including Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne, and Burton Lane. Harburg collaborated with Duke on several shows, including Walk a Little Faster in 1932, which introduced “April in Paris” [April in Paris/Chestnut in blossom/Holiday tables under the trees . . .]. Harburg’s very successful partnership with Arlen continued sporadically over many decades. With Billy Rose, they wrote “It’s Only a Paper Moon” in 1933 [“Say, it’s only a paper moon/Sailing over a cardboard sea/But it wouldn’t be make believe/If you believed in me”]. They followed up with a successful revue, Life Begins at 8:40, which included lyric collaborations with his old friend, Ira Gershwin. . . . The team’s pinnacle came in 1939, when they wrote the score for the movie The Wizard of Oz, which Harburg approached as a Depression fantasy. [Producer Arthur Freed, trusting Harburg’s judgment over his own, gave the lyricist the adaptations a series of writers had made of L. Frank Baum’s book, of which Yip chose Noel Langley’s as closest to the original. This gave Harburg and Arlen an unprecedented opportunity to incorporate their songs into the action of the film, which they took advantage of. Harburg said to Freed, “Let me write a score for the thing that will tell the story and then we will hang some of the best scenes onto that score.” He explained to Aljean Harmetz, “One function of song is to simplify, to take the clutter out of too much plot and too many characters, to telescope everything into one emotional idea. . . . I threw out [Langley’s] Munchkin sequence and lyricized it, the whole ten minutes in rhyme.” And because he and Arlen had experience writing Broadway songs for Ray Bolger (Arlen’s onetime roommate) and the inimitable Bert Lahr, they were able to tailor “If I Only Had a Brain/a Heart/ some Courage” and, especially, “If I Were King of the Forest” to their actors’ talents.] Other songs from it included [the standard] “(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow,” “Ding, Dong! The Witch is Dead,” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” Soon after that film was finished Arlen and Harburg were given the task of writing songs for the Marx Brothers’ movie At the Circus, luckily for us, for they wrote “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady” for Groucho:
“Lydia, oh, Lydia/That ‘encyclopidia’/Oh, Lydia, the queen of tattoo/On her back is the Battle of Waterloo/ Beside it the wreck of the Hesperus too/And proudly above waves the red, white and blue/You can learn a lot from Lydia.” In 1943, they wrote the score for the movie Cabin in the Sky, which featured “Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe.” Harburg and Arlen’s 1944 Broadway musical, Bloomer Girl, which starred Celeste Holm, was unlike the typical musical of the day, because it addressed slavery, the woman’s reform movement, and the horrors of war. Celeste Helm starred as a rebellious young daughter of a hoopskirt manufacturer, who refuses to wear hoopskirts and marry her father’s choice of a husband. Joining forces with her progressive aunt, Dolly Bloomer, the two women work together for abolition and women’s rights. . . . In 1947, Harburg and Burton Lane collaborated on what is considered the masterpiece of Harburg’s career, the Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow. In keeping with Harburg’s passion for social issues, Finian’s Rainbow dealt with issues of race and prejudice amid leprechauns, pots of gold, and politics in the fictitious southern U.S. state of Missitucky. The score included “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?,” “Old Devil Moon,” “Look to the Rainbow,” “If This Isn’t Love,” “When I’m Not Near the Girl I Love,” and “Necessity.” Harburg, who had been a member of several radical organizations but never officially joined the Communist party, was named in Red Channels. This pamphlet, distributed to organizations involved in employing people in the entertainment industry, listed 150 people who had been involved in promoting leftwing causes. This, along with his affiliation with the Hollywood Democratic Committee, led to his blacklisting by the film industry as well as the revocation of his passport. He was not helped by the failure of his next project with composers Sammy Fain and Fred Saidy. Flahooley opened on Broadway in 1951 to negative reviews. Set in a toy factory, Harburg parodied the rabid anti-communist sentiment and witch hunts that pervaded 1950s America through a fantastic storyline that was nearly impossible to follow. The cast included the Bill Baird Marionettes, Yma Sumac and Barbara Cook. Despite the score, which included “Here’s To Your Illusions,” audiences stayed away. In spite of the blacklist, Harburg continued to write poetry and musicals, including 1957’s Jamaica, with music by Arlen and Lena Horne as the leading lady, and 1961’s The Happiest Girl in the World (set to music by Offenbach). Based on Aristophanes’ anti-war Lysistrata, it presented Harburg with an opportunity to mock growing militarism of the industrial nations. A collaboration with Jule Styne produced Darling of the Day in 1968. It starred Vincent Price and Patricia Routledge, who won a Tony Award for her performance in this short-lived musical about an anti-social painter who seeks anonymity and romance with a rambunctious young widow in downscale Putney-on-the-Thames, England in 1908. Harburg and Arlen wrote some songs for Judy Garland near the end of her career, when they wrote the score for the animated movie Gay Purree (1962), in which she sang “Paris is a Lonely Town,” and the title song for her final movie, I Could Go On Singing (1963). On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in 1968, they wrote the song “Silent Spring.” The Sixties folk group Peter, Paul and Mary recorded his “Hurry Sundown,” which landed on the pop music charts. Harburg once said, “I am one of the last of a small tribe of troubadours who still believe that life is a beautiful and exciting journey with a purpose and grace which are well worth singing about.” Harburg died [of a heart attack while driving] in Los Angeles, California on March 5, 1981. Noel Langley A successful Broadway playwright, Langley began writing for films in the late 30s, most notably on the musicals Maytime and The Wizard of Oz. Among the screenplays he received no credit for were Babes in Arms and Northwest Passage. After World War Two he entered the British film industry, working on such memorable films as Trio, Scrooge (aka A Christmas Carol), Tom Brown’s Schooldays, and Richard Thorpe’s swashbucklers Ivanhoe and The Prisoner of Zenda. Langley began directing his own scripts in 1952 with his Dickens adaptation The Pickwick Papers; he went on to helm the sex farce Our Girl Friday (aka The Adventures of Sadie), Svengali with Donald Wolfit, and the fact-based occult drama The Search for Bridey Murphy. His later scriptwriting credits include The Vagabond King for director Michael Curtiz and Snow White and the Three Stooges.
Florence Ryerson Active from 1926, American screenwriter Florence Ryerson was employed by Paramount Pictures when talkies came in. During this period, Ryerson’s assignments included the studio’s Fu Manchu films and the 1929 Philo Vance mystery The Canary Murder Case. She also had a hand in 1931’s The Reckless Hour. It was another Philo Vance yarn, The Casino Murder Case, which brought her to MGM in 1935. Four years later, she was one of the credited screenwriters for the studio’s musical classic The Wizard of Oz (1939). Thereafter, any screen derivation of Oz was obliged to carry Florence Ryerson’s name in the credits, even the 1971 European quickie Aysecik and the Bewitched Dwarves in Dreamland (1971). She was also known as a short story writer (her Christmas story “The Littlest Shepherd” was included in an anthology of seasonal tales), and, with husband Colin Clements (1894-1948, who also was a detective story author), a playwright. The Pasadena Playhouse, a theatrical respite for Hollywood’s “emigrant” population from New York, presented their Harriet (which was included in Burns Mantle’s Best Plays of 1942/1943), Oh, Susanna (1947) and Strange Bedfellows (1949); Ryerson’s Little Scandal appeared there a year later. The couple also wrote the high school press room comedy Ever Since Eve and collaborated on screenplays, although Ryerson worked on more films with Edgar Allan Woolf than she did with Clements. Edgar Allan Woolf Before entering films, Edgar Allan Woolf was a prolific vaudeville sketch writer; at one time, 60 of his sketches were playing simultaneously on the vaudeville circuits. Woolf also penned special material for Broadway musical revues, not to mention a few plays, one of which, April Fool, was filmed in 1926. He was also the librettist for Toot Toot, which featured music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Berton Braley. When talkies came in, he was signed by MGM as a scenarist (Freaks, Mask of Fu Manchu) and script doctor. When released theatrically in 1932, Freaks was met with near universal disgust by critics and audiences alike, lasting in theatres for only a short time in the States and banned in England. The film stars Harry Earles as Hans, a suave midget who belongs to the sideshow of a seedy circus and who makes the mistake of falling in love with the beautiful Cleopatra, one of the “normal” circus performers. Learning that Hans is about to inherit a fortune, Cleopatra agrees to marry Hans even though she abhors him, planning to steal his money and get rid of him. When the freaks of the circus, who keep a watchful eye on Cleopatra, discover her scheme, they plan to exact an unforgettable revenge. Far more unsettling than [the] horror film, Dracula, Freaks has long been neglected due to its subject matter, even though it is a genuinely effective film. Gripping and often creepy, Freaks manages to humanize its main performers, even looking at them with a sense of awe. By contrast, the “normal” performers in the film are largely hateful creatures who turn out to be much more repellant than their deformed colleagues. Both an excellent horror film and a unique look at the lives of sideshow performers, Freaks is a chilling movie whose final ten minutes are some of the most harrowing in all of cinema. He was also a contributor to Man Killer, a 1932 flick. He usually worked in tandem with Florence Ryerson; their best-known collaboration was the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Prior to that Woolf and Ryerson wrote the script for the 1936 film Tough Guy; the same year as The Wizard they completed work on a Joan Crawford picture, The Ice Follies of 1939. [In it] Mary and Larry McKay are a modestly successful skating team. Shortly after their marriage, Mary (Joan Crawford) gets a picture contract, while Larry (Jimmy Stewart) is sitting at home, out of work. To prove that he can accomplish things on his own, he leaves Hollywood and convinces a former partner to put on an ice revue in Canada. The show is a huge success, but it makes it impossible for him to be with his wife, but the studio boss has a wonderful idea which will make everyone happy [in typical Hollywood fashion]. Interestingly, like The Wizard of Oz, the film ended in a beautiful Technicolor sequence. Still, it was not a success. In addition to his scripting talents, Woolf was an accomplished gourmet chef, and for many years his weekend dinner parties were major Hollywood social events. At the time of his death on Dec. 8, 1943, Edgar
Allan Woolf hadn’t received a screen credit for nearly five years, though he’d kept active rewriting the works of others sans billing. Vocabulary Scarecrow sings: “I could be another Lincoln” – a reference to our 16th president, true, but your students may not know how revered he was by Midwesterners in particular as late as 1900, when Baum wrote this book. I’ve suddenly twigged/made saps out of us/time we boughed out – L. Frank Baum was quite a fan of puns, and would probably love these bad ones about the Ozian apple trees. He once asked his family why heaven was like his son Henry’s hair? The answer was that “there is no parting there.” Heavenly semaphores – The Lion hears beautiful singing coming from the Emerald City, but rather than call it the music of the heavenly spheres, he comes up with semaphores. Jiminy crickets - J.W. Hiebert, in his online essay “Christian Cursing,” tells us that “Jiminy Crickets has been used by many [Christian] people, however, it is . . . a euphemistic expression of Jesus Christ. It is just a way to try to exchange acceptable words with which to euphemistically use our Lord’s name lightly. It is an interjection.” Caliginous - Webster’s says, “dark and gloomy.” The Wizard is simply indulging in some alliteration, which is, of course, the repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in a phrase or sentence; a tongue twister is an extreme example of alliteration. The Tinman isn’t really dark and gloomy, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? Bovine fodder - literally, cow food, the straw the Scarecrow is stuffed with. This is another Wizard putdown. Whippersnapper - Again we turn to Webster: “an insignificant, often impudent [that is, smart mouth] person.” Mellifluous baggage (the Wizard calls Dorothy this) - “flowing with sweetness or honey, smooth and sweet” is what mellifluous means, but baggage is another put-down: “an impudent [there’s that word again!] or saucy girl or woman.” Are you getting the feeling that the Wizard is trying to sound important and intellectual, but he is neither? Simian minion - The Wicked Witch calls the captain of the flying monkeys, Nikko, her “monkey assistant”: simian = ape and minion = subordinate officer. Flibberty-gibbet - “a silly, scatterbrained person.” Fly-by-Night - “Fly-by-night was originally an ancient term of reproach to an old woman, signifying she is a witch, according to Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. From a witch flying about at night on a broom, the term was applied, at the beginning of the 19th century, to anyone who flies hurriedly from a recent activity, usually a business activity and usually at night –someone who is a swindler and whose activities are fraudulent,” our friends at The Phrase Finder say. Jitterbug - In The Wizard of Oz this insect is something that can inflict humans but it’s merely a personification of a lively dance from the 1930s, “a strenuous dance performed to quick-tempo jazz or swing music and having various two-step patterns embellished with twirls and sometimes acrobatic maneuvers.” Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen originally wrote this dance number because the Wicked Witch of the West
says she is sending “an insect” to pester Dorothy and her companions, and the number was filmed but was ultimately cut from the movie because the studio felt the movie was too long. Arlen took some home movies of part of the dance sequence, however, so some of the number still exists and has been excerpted in “behindthe-scenes” documentaries about the movie. I’m suffering from metal fatigue – This pun from Tin Man refers to metal worn to the point of breaking usually; he simply means he’s tired. Humbug – Webster’s says, “One who attempts to trick or deceive.” The Wizard admits he pretended to be supernaturally powerful when he wasn’t, but defends himself: “I’m a very good man but a very bad wizard.” Universitatus commetteatum e pluribus unum - That ol’ Wizard is just making things up now, in pseudoLatin. He means the university committee (universitatus commetteatum) is conferring this diploma on the Scarecrow, and then he throws in a real Latin phrase that he learned from U.S. money, e pluribus unum, which means “out of many, one,” a reference to our country being composed of so many states, you know, the United States. “The sum of the square root of any 2 sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.” Compare the Scarecrow’s definition of this triangle with MathWorld’s: “An isosceles triangle is a triangle with (at least) two equal sides. [Assuming] the two equal sides have length b, the remaining side has length a. This property is equivalent to two angles of the triangle being equal. An isosceles triangle therefore has both two equal sides and two equal angles. The name derives from the Greek iso (same) and skelos (leg).” Sounds as if the Scarecrow has “caught” the Wizard’s speech patterns! Fortitude - “strength of mind allowing one to endure pain or adversity courageously.” Cataclysmic - disastrous. Stratospheric skill - well, the dictionary says, “the relatively isothermal part of the atmosphere above the strophospere and below the mesosphere,” but it just means the sky. The Wizard has lapsed into his standard hot air balloon introduction, as if he’s at a county fair. Conveyance - a vehicle, like a car or bus, or, in the 19th century, horse and buggy. Par ardua ad alta - Here’s some more bogus Latin. The Wizard probably means that flying his balloon is difficult (ardua = arduous, I think) and will rise impossibly high (unless alta = old, as it does in German, but old makes even less sense than the Wizard usually does). telegraph - “a [19th century] communication system that transmits and receives . . . electric impulses,” usually the dots and dashes of Morse code, over wires. This system predates telephones, it’s so old! L. Frank Baum and Syracuse Timeline From: Michelle Stone’s German Immigrant Ancestry in Syracuse and Onondaga County, NY, 1654 – 1945 Welcome/Willkommen! [Ms. Stone’s introduction to her timeline, which she generously allowed me to excerpt, says it all.] Not many people think of Onondaga County, New York, when they think of German immigrants arriving at the port towns of the United States and fanning out across the country’s interior. More notoriously “German” hubs along the migration trails come to mind: New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee, to name just a few. Yet a significant and flourishing German community did exist in Onondaga County almost
from the days of its earliest white settlers. Those searching for German ancestors in America should not overlook the possibility that their people ended up or spent some time here. This website reflects my genealogical and personal interest in my own German ancestors who settled in Onondaga County in 1883 and 1904, and my general interest in the history of Syracuse and environs—with particular emphasis on the German immigrant and German-American communities during the years 1825 to 1945. . . . 1853 - Financial depression; economy suffers. The Syracuse Home Association incorporated, an association of ladies systematically visiting the poor and furnishing a home for indigent and friendless females. The small railroad lines running through Syracuse join to become the New York Central Railroad, connecting Albany with Buffalo. Unitarian Church of the Messiah erected, Burnet & State Streets (demolished late 1960s). August 1853 - Syracuse hosts the state militia encampment at 40-acre Camp Onondaga. 1854 - 258,000 German immigrants arrived in America this year. First high school classes held in the Syracuse area. Legislature passes law to straighten Onondaga Creek, a great improvement to the southern part of Syracuse. Cornerstone laid for the New York State Asylum for Idiots in Syracuse. 1855 - Another year of bad harvests in Germany causes food shortages and rising prices. Anton Will, a carpenter from Germany, his wife, Rosina, and their four sons establish the first enduring candle-making business in Syracuse (later Will and Baumer). Benedict Haberle establishes his lager brewery. 1 August 1855 - Castle Garden at the southern tip of Manhattan opens as the first official port of entry for immigrants; 95 percent of all immigrants are from Ireland, England, or Germany. 5 January 1856 - The Weiting Block in Syracuse burns, followed by other fires that cause a storm of popular indignation at lawlessness, crime, and a weak local police force. 15 May 1856 – L. Frank Baum born in Chittenango to Benjamin Ward and Cynthia Baum. Frank’s father is a well-to-do businessman engaged in barrel making at this time. November 1856 - Fire sweeps away $200,000 in property on the block north of Salina Street between Wolf and Exchange Streets. 1857 – Over-speculation in railroad securities and real estate lead to bank failures that set off a panic across the nation. The first free public library organized in Syracuse. The Syracuse Baseball Club and the Concordia (a German singing society) are also organized. Syracuse Deutscher Liederkranz (a singing society) introduces the [German] custom of having Christmas trees at public Christmas festivals. 1858 - Cyrus W. Field’s New York, Newfoundland & London Telegraph Co. lays the first trans-Atlantic cable [which will provide direct communication between North America and Great Britain for the first time]. A portion of Syracuse is annexed to DeWitt. The State Fair is held along Onondaga Creek a mile south of Syracuse’s business center; approx. 20,000 in daily attendance. 1 July 1858 – The first issue of the Syracuse Central Demokrat (a German language newspaper) is published.
Carriage entrance to the State Fair
1859 - Approximately 2,000 daguerreotype [an early photographic process] studios have opened across the U.S., only 22 year after the French artist Daguerre perfected his process, which required “treating silverplated copper sheets with iodine to make them sensitive to light, then exposing them in a camera and ‘developing’ the images in warm mercury vapor” (Thumbnail History). 10 November 1859 – The first large festival celebrated by German Syracusans is held in honor of [German literary great Friedrich] Schiller’s 100th birthday. 1860 - America’s population has grown to 31.4 million; New York is the most populous state (3.9 million). Over 58 % of Americans work on farms. A U.S. Department of Education survey finds over half the nation’s 321 high schools are located in Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. In the previous decade the revolving cylinder press has replaced the flatbed press, resulting in an era of bigger newspapers and more and faster editions. August 1860 – The first line of horse-drawn cars of the Central City Railway Company make their first run between central Syracuse and the First Ward (the North Side). November 1860 - Benjamin and Cynthia Baum move to 1 Ryst Street in Syracuse from Chittenango with their children, including 4-year-old Lyman Frank Baum. 1861 - First Federal income taxes established (3%). Benjamin Baum gets rich from exploring Pennsylvania’s oil fields and moves his family to Rose Lawn, a country estate located in present-day Mattydale. 9 February 1861 - President-Elect Abraham Lincoln stops in Syracuse, saying to crowds of citizens and military companies at the railroad terminal, “I hope to return to Syracuse at another time to meet some of you and to know your town.” 4 March 1861 - President Lincoln inaugurated in Washington, D.C. 12 April 1861 – Crisis at Fort Sumter, SC—first shots fired; Civil War begins. During the Civil War 516,000 German-Americans (over 23% of the total number of soldiers) would fight for the Union; 500 officers in the U.S. Army were German born. 14 April 1861 - Fort Sumter falls and news reaches Washington, D.C. 15 April 1861 - Captain Johnny Butler of Syracuse volunteers his Zoaves for three months’ service, the first group from Central New York to respond to Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops. The unit leaves from the Syracuse train station on 21 April. Jenney’s Artillery Battery also leaves in the middle of April. 2 May 1861 – The 12th Regiment [12th New York Volunteer Infantry], the first recruited entirely from Onondaga County, leaves for Elmira, Washington, D.C., and battlefields in Virginia. The Turner Regiment [20th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Infantry] also goes to war that spring. August 1861 - The 1st Light Artillery Regiment [1st Regiment, Light Artillery, New York State Volunteers, Battery B (Petit’s Battery)] is raised at Baldwinsville, composed mostly of Onondaga men, and sent off to fight in Virginia. 24 October 1861 - First telegram crosses the continent, from Sacramento, California to Washington, D.C. 1862 – The Homestead Act passes, which will result in encouraging more Germans [and others] to immigrate and settle in America’s heartland. Salt production in Syracuse reaches its peak: over 9 million bushels made,
26 April 1865 - Lincoln’s funeral train travels through Syracuse on its way to his burial place in Illinois; stops for an hour at the terminal in Vanderbilt Square. June 1865 – The 185th and 149th Regiments return home from war service to a rousing welcome in Syracuse. 1867 - Syracuse University established when Genesee College (a Methodist liberal arts college) is transferred from Lima, New York, to Syracuse by an act of the state legislature. 4 December 1867 - National Grange of the Patrons of Animal Husbandry formed to help farmers in the wake of the Civil War, designed to disseminate information and train farmers in new techniques. [More Americans work in agriculture than any other field.] 1868 - Ice-skating becomes popular, one of the few sports that bring men and women together. George Pullman introduces the first railroad dining car. Frank Baum is sent to Peekskill Academy, a military school, to help him get over his dreamy nature. Until now he had been taught at home. He stays for two years, until a breakdown in his health prompts his parents to bring him home. 9 March 1868 - Charles Dickens reads from his works The Pickwick Papers and “A Christmas Carol” at the Weiting Opera House in Syracuse. 25 May 1868 - Congress mandates the eight-hour workday for government employees. 30 May 1868 - U.S. celebrates the first “Decoration Day,” [the antecedent to Memorial Day]. 1869 - The hoop skirt gives way to the bustle. The “oldest general hospital in Syracuse, St. Joseph’s Hospital . . . is founded . . . by the Franciscan Sisters.” The Shuezenverein (German Marksmen’s Society) is founded in Syracuse. St. Joseph’s Hospital
28 February 1869 - The old depot (building dating from 1828) is pulled down by the Central Railroad Company’s locomotive; it was in what would become Vanderbilt Square. 10 May 1869 – A golden spike is driven in Ogden, Utah, to mark completion of the first transcontinental railway. 16 October 1869 - The “Cardiff Giant” is discovered near Cardiff, Town of Lafayette, Onondaga County, and thought to be a petrified prehistoric man. Exhibited in New York City in December, it is subsequently proven to be a hoax. 1870 – The U.S. census shows population at 39.8 million (over 2.3 million immigrants arrived in the previous decade); 1,690,533 persons in the U.S. were born in Germany; about five to six million in the U.S. speak German. New York is still the most populous state (almost 4.4 million residents). A smallpox epidemic rages in Syracuse. William A. Sweet produces the first steel in Syracuse. 1871 - The Great Chicago Fire (8-10 October) is followed by a series of arsons in Syracuse. A balloon ascension in Hanover Square, between S. Warren and S. Salina Streets, is made by “Professor Coe.” Fifteen-year-old Frank Baum is given a printing press by his father, and begins publishing the Rose Lawn Home Journal.
brine from the salt springs being conveyed through 75 miles of wooden pipes. Onondaga Historical Association founded. Benjamin Baum, successful owner of the Carbon Oil Company, establishes the second National Bank in the Bastable Block, Syracuse. 9 March 1862 – 101st Regiment, recruited from Onondaga and Delaware counties, leaves New York to fight in Virginia. August/September 1862 – The 149th Regiment [149th New York Volunteer Infantry] is recruited and sent to Washington, D.C. for service in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. [See also “The Salt Point Rangers” re-enactors’ website: http://home.earthlink.net/~dahoude/.] 122nd Regiment mustered in on 28 August, left for New York on the 31st. 1863 - The Capitol dome in Washington, D.C., is completed this year. Capitol Dome, ca. 1857
1 January 1863 - Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, decreeing freedom for all slaves in the Union and the Confederate States. Negro volunteers are now accepted into the Union Army. 3 March 1863 - Lincoln signs the Conscription Act, compelling American males aged 20 to 46 to report for duty in the Union Army or pay a fee of $300. 21 May 1863 - 12th Regiment, reduced to 275 men, returning from war, is given warm welcome in Syracuse’s Armory Park by the mayor, the military, firemen, and citizens. 3 October 1863 - President Lincoln declares the last Thursday in November as a national holiday of Thanksgiving. 1864 - The Castle Garden immigration depot in New York City becomes a recruiting quarters for the Union Army, where many German and Irish immigrants “just off the boat” immediately sign up, enticed by the $600 bounty for substitutes. Federal income tax is raised to 10% of income over $10,000 a year (there was already a 5% tax on income between $600-$10,000 per year). Onondaga County’s prison at Pond & Lilac Streets in Syracuse partially burns. The Congregation of Zion builds a wooden church for $12,000. 25 July 1864 - Street railway opens running down South Salina Street to Oakwood Cemetery and Brighton Avenue. September 1864 - Companies of the 185th Regiment [185th New York Volunteer Infantry] are recruited in Onondaga and Cortland counties and serve in Virginia until the end of the war. Raised under the stimulus of a bounty totaling about $1,000 per volunteer, the 185th is the last full regiment raised in the county during the war. Winter 1864 - Spring 1865 - Unusual winter snowfall combined with heavy March rains result in floods over large parts of eastern and southeastern Syracuse, damaging and destroying many bridges. 9 April 1865 - Civil War ends. Syracuse population is 31,700. 14 April 1865 - Abraham Lincoln assassinated, dies the following day.
1872 - Ten percent of all newspapers and periodicals in the U.S. are published in a foreign language; 80% of these are in German; there are 97 daily German-language newspapers in the U.S. This is the first year all Syracuse schoolchildren are required to be vaccinated. Mass-produced skates and rinks make roller-skating a fad. The Marsellus Casket Company is founded in Syracuse. 1873 - Bank failures throughout the U.S. result in a panic and depression felt for years. U.S. cities with population of 20,000 or more start to receive free mail delivery. Frank Baum starts a new paper called The Empire as well as a philatelic periodical, The Stamp Collector. 1 May 1873 - Penny postcards are introduced. 1874 - There are 58 German-language daily newspapers in the U.S. New York State passes a compulsory education act. Free public education has been opposed by some German immigrants, who fear its effect on their culture. The City Hospital for Communicable Diseases is founded by the City of Syracuse in reaction to another smallpox epidemic. 23 June 1874 – Fourteen are killed and 145 injured when a second-floor assembly hall collapses at Montgomery and Jefferson Streets in Syracuse during a performance by the children of the Central Baptist Church. 1875 – The U.S. Immigration Act provides for inspection of vessels by state officials and bars admission of ex-convicts and Chinese and Japanese immigrants brought into the country against their will. The first electric dynamo is built, in Ithaca, New York, at Cornell University. George P. Hier elected mayor of Syracuse, first mayor of German heritage (his father, Ernest Hocher, had arrived in Syracuse in 1833). Syracuse’s baseball team is named the Syracuse Stars. 1876 - Thomas A. Edison starts his “invention factory” in Menlo Park, New Jersey. 10 March 1876 - First electric transmission of the human voice by wire: Alexander Graham Bell calls Thomas Watson to him from another room in his home workshop (“Watson, come here, I need you!”). [The first emergency telephone call!] 1877 - Carl Schurz is named Secretary of the Interior by President Hayes (first German-born American to be appointed to a presidential cabinet). The new Syracuse University medical college, now located in three buildings on Orange Street [now the area near Harrison and Adams Streets], is relocated a from former home in Geneva, New York. 1878 - Syracuse’s first electric light: an arc lamp atop the Wieting Opera House on Clinton Square, powered by a dynamo in a nearby store. The first telephone appeared in the city that year in a demonstration to a large audience (also at the Opera House) of music telephoned from Auburn, NY. 1879 - First telephone exchange in Syracuse, with 16 subscribers; the telephone directory for that year would list 208 telephones in Syracuse. The city is granted a National League baseball franchise (The Syracuse Stars). Syracuse’s Nettleton Shoe factory begins production (would succeed for 105 years, closing in 1984). 1880 – The U.S. population stands at 50,155,783. According to the census taken this year there are 6,600,000 immigrants now living in the U.S., over 250,000 of them Germans entering the country in that year alone. A growing percentage of immigrants are now coming from Southern and Eastern Europe but most still come from Scandinavia, Britain, and Germany. Typewriters will become an indispensable tool in every newspaper office in the 1880s. Citizens of Centerville, New York, request that their town be renamed North Syracuse. Onions, celery, and tobacco (for local cigar manufacturing) are among the crops grown on local farms. . . .
Benjamin Baum makes his son Frank the manager of a string of opera houses he owns in New York and Pennsylvania; eventually Benjamin gives them to him. 1881 - James A. Garfield, Republican of Ohio, inaugurated as 20th President, is shot on 2 July and dies 19 September. Vice-President Chester A. Arthur, Republican from Vermont, becomes 21st President. Woodlawn Cemetery, “first garden mausoleum in Central New York,” opens in Syracuse. 21 September 1881 - The Solvay Process Company was formed. According to Rennselaer Polytechnic’s website, alumni William Process canal Cogswell “took an interest in the Solvay soda ash producing process . . .Solvay and applied it toand thethe saltErie lands of Onondaga County, N.Y. His company, the Solvay Process Company, formed in 1881, became the largest manufacturer in the U.S. of soda ash and its derivatives, which are used in a variety of industries including water treatment, detergents, paper, and pharmaceuticals.” He and Rowland Hazard (manufacturer, scientist, and president) established a factory on the western shore of Onondaga Lake 4 October 1881 – A meeting conducted by Clara Barton in Syracuse’s Larned Building results in the formation one week later of the Syracuse chapter of the American Red Cross. 1882 - Over a quarter of a million Germans enter the United States this year. 15 May 1882 - On his 26th birthday, L. Frank Baum’s play, The Maid of Arran has its first performance (at the Grand Opera House, Syracuse); it is a financial and critical success. 3 August 1882 - Federal government passes the Immigration Act, which outlaws immigration of “any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any other person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge. . . Such persons shall not be permitted to land.” A fifty-cent head tax is imposed on all arriving immigrants. The Federal government takes control from the various states of admission of all immigrants as the first national immigration law is applied to all U.S. ports of entry. 9 November 1882 – L. Frank Baum marries Maud Gage of Fayetteville; they had met when she was still a Cornell University student. Maud is the daughter of Matilda Joslyn Gage, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement. Mrs. L. Frank Baum accompanies her husband on his theatre company’s Maid of Arran tour. 1883 - There are 82 German-language daily newspapers in the U.S. (the Scandinavian press, with a total of 49, runs a distant second). Tolls on the Erie Canal are abolished. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church erects frame building for worship on the corner of Oswego and Shonnard Streets, Syracuse. Author and playwright L. Frank and Maud Baum rent a home at #8 (now #107) Shonnard Street in Syracuse, where their son Frank Joslyn Baum is born in December). April 1883 – The Taft Settlement Grange is organized near North Syracuse with 13 charter members. 4 April 1883 - Frank Baum’s play, Kilmourn or O’Connor’s Dream is performed at the Weiting Opera House, by the Young Men’s Dramatic Club, a local amateur group. 24 May 1883 - German-born engineer John A. Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge (“Eighth Wonder of the World”) opens at 2 p.m.
18 November 1883 - American railroads adopt Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific standard time zones. 1884 - Financial panic in New York; banking firms fail. Tom Stevens passes through Syracuse on his route to Oakland, California—the first successful intercontinental bicycle trip. Frank Baum’s Uncle Doc, then fiscal manager of the theatres given Frank by his father, becomes ill and turns the bookkeeping over to someone who embezzles so much from the company that Frank has to take on a salesman’s job with his father’s company. 24 May 1884 - The German Protestant Tabor Orphanage is incorporated in Syracuse. 6 December 1884 – With its final capstone in place, the Washington Monument is completed in Washington, D.C. 1885 - Grover Cleveland, a Democrat from New Jersey, inaugurated as 22nd President (his boyhood home stands in Fayetteville, near Routes 5 and 92). The German-language press represents 79% of all foreignlanguage publications in the U.S. Benjamin Baum and his family move to 37 Shonnard Street in Syracuse. In October he is involved in a serious accident when a runaway horse throws him from his carriage; he is subsequently a semi-invalid. January 1885 – The first successful appendectomy is performed (in Davenport, Iowa). 26 February 1885 - At the urging of American labor unions, Congress passes the Foran Act, prohibiting contract immigrant labor. Employers are no longer allowed to pay for the passage of foreigners wishing to immigrate to the U.S. in exchange for indentured labor. No immigrant could have a job or a promise of a job before landing. 1886 - The Haymarket Riot takes place in Chicago, resulting, in 1887, in the execution of August Spies, editor of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and seven other Germans for inciting labor riots. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse is formed, overseeing 70,000 Catholics. Frank and Maud Baum and their two young sons move to #43 (now #268-270) Holland Street. His first book, The Book of Hamburgs, A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs, about a type of chicken, is published. 1 June 1886 - Syracuse fire chief Philipp Eckel is thrown from his vehicle on the way to a fire and dies of his injuries. 2 June 1886 - President Cleveland is married at the White House to Miss Francis Folsom. Summer 1886 - The old lamplighter begins to disappear from the streets of Syracuse when electric lights begin to make their appearance here [replacing gaslights]. 28 October 1886 - Statue of Liberty dedication ceremonies on Bedloe Island in New York Harbor are attended by President Cleveland and one million spectators. President Cleveland said in part: “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” 1887 – The Syracuse Rescue Mission founded, its building located on Railroad Street. A group of 14 publicspirited Syracuse women found the Syracuse Women’s Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the only hospital in the area that admits women and children. The Taft Settlement Grange buys a lot and builds its first hall, with meetings held in the second story (a cheese factory took up the ground floor). Bicycling is all the rage. 14 February 1887 - Benjamin Ward Baum dies.
15-17 September 1887 - Centenary celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. 1888 – Frank Baum returns from a sales trip to find the clerk who had been managing his late father’s business has committed suicide, in fear that his mismanagement and gambling away of the company’s funds would be found out. 12 January 1888 - Severe blizzards begin throughout the Northeast. 11-14 March 1888 - Severe blizzards and snowfall cripple New York and the Eastern seaboard. 4 July 1888 – 25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg attended there by 25,000 survivors. 20 September 1888 – His father’s company ruined, Frank and Maud Baum moves their family from Syracuse to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where some of Maud’s relatives have settled. There Frank opens a general store he names Baum’s Bazaar. The Baums visit their Central New York relatives whenever they can. October 1888 – The Washington Monument opens to visitors. November 1888 - First electric streetcar line in Syracuse begins service. 1889 - Benjamin Harrison, Republican from Ohio, inaugurated as 23rd President. Thomas Edison invents the Kinetoscope. The Kodak or “hand camera” launches amateur “snapshot” photography. The Linotype machine was coming into general use. A new City Hall goes up in Syracuse on the site of the old one. December 1889 - Scribner’s magazine runs “How the Other Half Lives,” a shocking photographic essay by Jacob Riis concerning the squalid living conditions of immigrants in New York City. 1890 - Kaiser Wilhelm II fires Otto von Bismarck as chief minister. The U.S. population is 62,979766, a 25 % increase in just a decade. New York is the most populous state with six million residents, one million more than in 1880. Widespread business and bank failures. An influenza epidemic starts in the East in January taking many lives. The Leland Hotel fire in Syracuse killed 6, severely burned 11. The New York State Fair takes up its permanent home in the town of Geddes, west of Syracuse. Syracuse University fields its first football team; the Syracuse Stars baseball team is accepted in the American Association. There are 20,000 bicycles in Syracuse. Because of Frank Baum’s generosity Chicago’s at lendingWorld his drought-stricken neighbors credit at his store, Baum’s Bazaar fails. At about the same time Frank takes over a local newspaper, the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. Unfortunately the local hard times catch up with the paper, too, and Baum is forced to relinquish it about a year later. 12 April 1890 - Sophie Usenbents dies, first GermanAmerican born in Syracuse (1806). Mid-April 1890 - Castle Garden closed as the immigration depot in New York City; immigrants use the Barge Office as a depot until end of 1891.
1891 – A new Immigration Act is passed; job of processing immigrants is totally taken over by the federal government. Federal inspectors examine immigrants on arrival. All immigrants must pass a medical exam and answer questions about their background and intentions in America. Shipping lines are forbidden to solicit immigrants in foreign countries. The law also bars from admission persons suffering from “loathsome or dangerous diseases,” those convicted of crimes involving “moral turpitude,” polygamists, and those whose passage was paid for by others. Those rejected for immigration are deported at the expense of the shipping companies which had transported them to the U.S. The Baums move to Chicago, hoping that the coming World’s Fair, to be held there in 1893, will provide more opportunity for Frank. Frank first works for the Evening Star newspaper, and then becomes a traveling china salesman. Through working for the newspaper he meets other writers and, encouraged by his mother-in-law, starts to write down some of the stories he has told children—his own and their friends—since he owned Baum’s Bazaar. 14-15 March 1891 - Fire starting in Hier & Leighton Cigar Factory (W. Fayette & Franklin Streets) destroys 14 buildings and damages others in downtown Syracuse. 1892 – The Duryea brothers build the first gasoline-powered motorcar in the U.S. (Springfield, MA). E.C. Stearns & Co., Syracuse hardware manufacturer, begins producing bicycles. Jacob Amos elected mayor of Syracuse. Liverpool willow basket production is at its height: approximately 396,000 baskets made that year. Liverpool baskets and willow furniture are marketed worldwide until the turn of the century when willow imports from Belgium, Poland, and China undercut the industry. 1 January 1892 - Ellis Island immigration depot opens for business. 1893 - Grover Cleveland, Democrat, inaugurated as 24th President (for his second, nonconsecutive term). Columbian Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair, opens in Chicago. 27 March 1893 - First long-distance telephone call, from New York to Alexander Graham Bell in Chicago. 10 May 1893 - Engine 999 of the Empire State Express, a New York Central locomotive pulling four heavy cars, sets a new world land speed record of 112 1/2 miles per hour on its run from Batavia to Buffalo, New York. Crowds watch engineer Charles Hogan and fireman Ike O’Dell prepare for the run, which commenced at the Syracuse station. 27 June 1893 – A stock market crash and financial panic is followed by a two-year depression, the worst in the history of the U.S. (600 banks close, 74 railroads go out of business, 15,000 commercial firms collapse). NY Central train traveling down
1894 - Syracuse hires its first truant officer, Daniel Kieley. Jacob Washington St. in Syracuse Amos again elected mayor of Syracuse. The Syracuse Liederkranz competes at New York City’s Saengerfest, winning a $1,000 grand piano. 3 July 1894 – A 19-mile city water system pipeline begins operation between Skaneateles Lake and Syracuse. 1895 - U.S. Post Office establishes rural free delivery, as advocated by the Grange and other farmers’ groups. Sears, Roebuck & Company starts its mail-order business. Guglielmo Marconi exhibits wireless transmission, pioneering radio research. The automatic player-piano enters the market.
30 January 1895 - The S.S. Elbe collides with British steamer Crathie in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, and goes down within a few minutes with a loss of over 320 lives. 20 May 1895 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules income tax is unconstitutional. 1896 – The first commercial automobile appears on Detroit streets. Vaudeville theatres began showing motion pictures, including The Empire State Express, featuring a train rushing full speed at the audience. Will & Baumer candle making firm established in Syracuse when the Francis Baumer Candle Co. merges with Eckermann & Will Candle Co. 1897 - William McKinley, Republican of Ohio, inaugurated as 25th President. The Library of Congress gets its own building. Former-President Ulysses S. Grant is interred in his tomb on Riverside Drive, New York City [so now you know who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb J]. Crouse-Hinds begins manufacturing electrical power transmission products, and later, trolley car headlights, lighthouse lenses, and other traffic and industrial lighting fixtures. Approximately half of Liverpool’s 1,400 inhabitants are German. This year Frank Baum’s first children’s book, Mother Goose in Prose, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, is published. Its success allows Baum to retire from his traveling sales job, which is injuring his health. 2 March 1897 - President Cleveland vetoes a bill requiring literacy tests for immigrants. 1898 - Syracuse Liederkranz wins first prize at the first Saengerfest in Utica, NY. 1 January 1898 - The five boroughs of New York City combine to become the City of Greater New York, operating under one mayor—now the second-largest city in the world. 15 February 1898 - Explosion of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor ignites the Spanish-American War. With peace treaty signed 10 December, the U.S. acquires Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. By the end of the war 289 lives had been lost in battle, 4,000 lost to disease [many of them to malaria, or yellow fever]. 1899 - Ragtime is a popular musical style; illustrator Richard Henry Dana’s Gibson Girl sets women’s fashions. Syracuse’s telephone company (headquartered on Montgomery Street in Syracuse, where today the Onondaga Historical Association is located) has 12,100 customers, 200 trunk lines, and places 21,000 calls each day. Frank Baum’s Father Goose, His Book establishes him as a major children’s author. The book is illustrated by William Wallace Denslow, who is credited with co-creating their next book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 4 February 1899 – The Philippine Islands commence guerilla warfare against the U.S., seeking their independence. 1900 - U.S. population is 76,303,387; 2,501,333 are “German born” and 5,781,437 are of “German parentage.” Immigration by Germans into the U.S. is only 4 % of the total. Corruption is discovered among the immigration administrators of Ellis Island in New York City. George Eastman manufacturers the one-dollar Brownie Box Camera (uses transparent, flexible black and white roll film, selling for ten or fifteen cents per six-photo roll). Syracuse’s population is 108,374. The Automobile Club of Syracuse, one of the first of its kind in the world, is formed by the six automobile owners in the area. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of four books Baum has published this year. It outsells every other book for children this year. 30 June 1900 - Fire destroys the docks in Hoboken, NJ, of the North German Lloyd and Hamburg American steamship companies; ocean liners, other ships, and 145 lives were lost.
14 August 1900 - 2,000 U.S. Marines aid the British in the capture of Peking, China, terminating the Boxer Rebellion. 1 October 1900 – The last horse-drawn streetcar line in Syracuse (the Green Street line from Salina to James to the terminus at Lodi and Green) gives way to electricity. 17 December 1900 – The Ellis Island immigration depot reopens for business in New York City; used until late 1954. 1901 – The average U.S. lifespan is 49 years. In Syracuse, the Franklin Car Company (John Wilkinson, inventor) produces its first vehicle (with a uniquely air-cooled engine). 7 April 1901 – The bridge crossing the Oswego Canal at James Street collapses under the weight of a trolley car. 9 May 1901 – The stock market collapses in New York City; financial panic results. 6 September 1901 - President William McKinley, serving in his second term, is shot by an anarchist while in Buffalo, NY, to visit the Pan-American Exposition, and dies on 14 September. Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt, Republican of New York, inaugurated as 26th President (at age 43, the youngest President). Fall 1901 - President Roosevelt appoints a new Commissioner of Emigration in hopes of ending corruption at Ellis Island. 12 December 1901 - Marconi’s wireless telegraphy (radio) is a success, transmitting Morse code from Wales, United Kingdom, to St. Johns, Newfoundland. 1902 – The H. H. Franklin Automobile Company becomes a major employer at South Geddes and Marcellus Streets, Syracuse. A stage adaptation loosely based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is produced this year. It enjoys 293 Broadway performances and tours the country until 1911. 30 April 1902 – The Philippine rebellion officially ends; U.S. military governorship rules until 4 July, then a civil government is established. 1903 - Phonograph recordings of operatic arias, sung by celebrated artists to piano accompaniment, begin to be issued by the Columbia Company, a pioneer in the industry. Filmed that year: The Great Train Robbery. Silent motion pictures are shown in nickelodeons [admission is a nickel]. 17 December 1903 – The Wright brothers’ complete the successful flight in an airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 1904 - The “rich man’s depression” of 1904 lasted for one year. 1 May 1904 - St. Louis Exposition (World’s Fair) opens, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Ice-cream cones and iced tea are invented and introduced there by Fair vendors. 23 May 1904 - A drastic cut in steerage passenger rates goes into effect for trans-Atlantic travel. Competition among Italy, Germany, Britain, and France for control of the seas leads them to offer large subsidies to their steamship lines; these savings are passed on to customers and result in the building of monster ships. Passage now takes less than a month, and the cost of a steerage ticket can be earned in a
week at any decent job. Immigrant labor is still desired in America, and recruiters encourage emigration in foreign countries. Wages in the U.S. are two to three times the wage level in Europe. 15 June 1904 - 1,021 German immigrants (most of them women and children residents of New York City’s Kleindeutschland, in today’s East Village) die on their way to a church picnic when their excursion boat, the General Slocum, catches fire in New York’s East River. 1905 - President Theodore Roosevelt begins his second term. 5 December 1905 - In his speech to Congress, President Roosevelt says: “There is no danger in having too many immigrants of the right kind” [i.e. ones willing to learn English, embrace the values and customs of the middle class, improve themselves through education, work hard in their professions, and obey the law] and that he “grows extremely indignant at the attitude of coarse hostility to the immigrant. . . . I want to implant in the minds of our fellow Americans of foreign ancestry or birth the knowledge that they have just the same Syracuse, 1906 rights and opportunities as anyone else in this country.” 1906 - Electric power generated by Niagara Falls transmitted 150 miles to Syracuse. Schrafft’s restaurant opens in Syracuse (will stay in business until 1965). Syracuse Liederkranz wins first prize at the fourth Saengerfest in Troy, NY: a magnificent grandfather clock, which was placed in the lounge of the Liederkranz hall on Butternut Street. 18 April 1906 - San Francisco’s worst earthquake, followed by devastating fire. 27 September 1906 - Congress passes the Basic Naturalization Act, standardizing the naturalization process throughout the U.S. and requiring names of spouse and children (if any) to appear on an alien’s naturalization paperwork. 1907 - Financial depression in the United States. Public outcry, especially from labor groups, against the flood of “new immigrants” from southern and eastern Europe has Congress forming a presidential panel on immigration reform. (The foreign-born make up 14% of the U.S. population and half of the U.S. labor force.) 2 March 1907 - Congress passes an act wherein a wife’s citizenship status is determined by the status of her husband. A U.S.-born female citizen who marries an alien after this date would lose her U.S. citizenship (which she could later regain if and when her husband was naturalized). 30 July 1907 - 2:30 - 2:45 p.m.: A break an Erie Canal retaining wall in Syracuse drains water into Onondaga Creek; five boats destroyed and buildings damaged. 27 August 1907 – The Syracuse and South Bay Trolley line opens for business between the city and North Syracuse; the stagecoach line is now obsolete. 1908 - The average U.S. farmer’s standard of living has increased dramatically, showing a profit of $540 per year on his holdings; average prices of farm products have increased almost 50% since 1900; the value of the average farm increased from $5,471 to $6,444 in the same period. Sears, Roebuck, rural free mail delivery, daily newspaper delivery, and new consumer products like electric toasters and irons make life on the farm much easier. Syracuse’s North High School opens on the Pond Street site of the old county penitentiary. Frank Baum produces a silent film depicting scenes and stories from his writing to date which requires a live narrator and orchestra at each performance. The Fairy-Logue and Radio Plays tour briefly until the costs become too great for ticket sales to support.
October 1908 - Mass production of autos begins with Henry Ford’s rugged Model T (sells for $850, comes in one color: black). 1909 - William Howard Taft, Republican of Ohio, inaugurated as 27th President. Admiral Robert Peary reaches the North Pole. The Lincoln-head penny comes into circulation, replacing the Indian-head penny in use since 1859. 27 February 1909 – The last stagecoach run between Cicero and Syracuse takes place; a trolley takes over mail and passenger service. April 1909 - Music is broadcast from New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House to the home of Lee de Forest, inventor of the three-element tube that made radio possible. 1910 - Halley’s comet appears. Mark Twain dies [he was born the year of the comet’s previous appearance]. America suffers a one-year depression. U.S. population is 93,402,151; less than half have high school diplomas, 4 % have college degrees. Frank and Maud Baum move to Southern California, in part because of Frank’s ill health. They name their house Ozcot. 26 March 1910 - Congress amends the Immigration Act of 1907 to bar entry into the U.S. of paupers, criminals, anarchists, and diseased persons. 21 June 1910 - A huge crowd watches as the Soldiers and Sailors monument is unveiled in Clinton Square to commemorate those who served in the Civil War. 15 October 1911 - Thousands attend the unveiling of a monument to Goethe and Schiller erected in Schiller Park in Syracuse and dedicated to Syracusans of German ancestry by the Deutscher Bund of Onondaga County. 1912 - Wife of the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. gives First Lady Mrs. Taft 2,000 tiny cherry trees as a sign of friendship; they are planted along the Tidal Basin in Potomac Park, Washington, D.C. Crouse Irving Hospital, founded by a group of physicians and investors, opens. Oreo cookies, Life Savers candies, and Hellman’s mayonnaise are introduced to U.S. consumers. 14-15 April 1912 - The White Star liner Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York. 15 September 1912 - Big tornado blows through area north of Syracuse, NY, damaging Long Branch Park, Liverpool, and Pitcher Hill, killing three. 1913 - Woodrow Wilson, Democrat of Virginia, inaugurated as the 28th President. Two amendments (16th , establishing a permanent income tax [others had been temporary], and 17th , regulating election of senators by popular vote) are added to the U.S. Constitution. The People’s Hospital is founded in Syracuse at the corner of Delaware and Sabine Streets. North Syracuse starts a volunteer fire department with two hand-drawn chemical fire engines.
11 April 1913 - After 67 years of business, the [wooden] Plank Road closes between Cicero and Syracuse; State Route 11, for autos, would open two years later. 24 April 1913 - With the flick of a switch in Washington, D.C., President Wilson lights the new 60-floor Woolworth office building in New York City, tallest building in the world (financed by Frank W. Woolworth, son of a poor farmer from Watertown, New York). 23 December 1913 - Congress passes act to create the Federal Reserve Bank system. 1914 - The Mexican political situation (including Pancho Villa), growing more chaotic and violent, brings the U.S. to the brink of war. Burnet Park Zoo opens in Syracuse. Baum and some associates form the Oz Film Manufacturing Company and film several Oz stories. Unfortunately adults assume the movies are for children, and they do not do well at the box office. The Company is bought by Universal Pictures. 10 February 1914 – An earthquake centered in the Adirondacks breaks windows in Syracuse. 28 June 1914 – The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia, precipitates World War I. 1 August 1914 – The day the Taft Settlement Grange holds a picnic at Fiddlers Green, Germany declares war on Russia. 4 August 1914 - Great Britain, an ally of Russia, declares war on Germany. President Wilson declares neutrality for the United States. 15 August 1914 – The Panama Canal opens to commercial traffic. Lighting fixtures there were produced by Crouse-Hinds Company of Syracuse. December 1914 - Mrs. Horace Eaton, starting the tradition, brings the first public Christmas tree to Syracuse (located in Columbus Circle that year). 19 April 1915 - William Barnes v. Theodore Roosevelt libel trial opens in Onondaga County Court House. Former-President Roosevelt takes the witness stand to give personal testimony. 23-28 April 1915 - Germany introduces poison gas at Ypres, turning American sentiment toward the Allies (Russia, Great Britain, France, Serbia, Montenegro, Japan and Italy) and against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria). 7 May 1915 – A German U-boat torpedoes the Cunard line steamer Lusitania, bound from New York to England, with a loss of 1,198 lives. November 1915 – Preacher Billy Sunday brings his spiritual crusade to the Syracuse Tabernacle. 1 December 1915 - Two German military attachés, Captains Franz von Papen and Karl Boy-Ed, are expelled from the U.S. after an attaché case detailing the German government’s plans to launch a series of sabotage strikes against U.S. military installations is found by chance on a New York subway car. 1917 - President Woodrow Wilson begins his second term. General Pershing’s army withdraws from Mexico without having captured Pancho Villa. Syracuse’s community War Chest established, the forerunner of the Community Chest and eventually the United Way.
3 February 1917 - A German submarine sinks the American ocean liner, Housatonic, off the coast of Sicily; U.S. breaks off diplomatic ties with Germany. Germany has declared unrestricted submarine warfare on all shipping, including that of neutral countries. 5 February 1917 - Immigration Act of 1917 passed by Congress (over President Wilson’s veto): No Asians allowed other than Japanese; all other immigrants must pass a literacy test; vagrants, illiterates, alcoholics, and persons seeking to enter the U.S. “for immoral purposes” are excluded. 6 April 1917 - At 1:18 p.m. the U.S. declares war on Germany. Anti-German hysteria runs throughout the U.S. German-language instruction (“teaching the Hun language”) ends in most states. News dealers, advertisers, and communities boycott German newspapers and Boy Scouts in some communities (e.g. Cleveland, Ohio) burn them. During the war, almost all German singing societies and lodges are forced to curtail or suspend their activities, or else to turn to the use of English songs and English rituals. German theatres are closed, concert programs are purged of German music, and scores of German newspapers suspend publication, never to resume. 18 May 1917 - Congress enacts Selective Military Conscription Bill. On 5 June from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every American male (ages 21 to 30) must register. A military camp for recruits (Camp Syracuse) is set up at the State Fairgrounds; livestock buildings become barracks. 26 June 1917 – The American Expeditionary Force arrives in France. 15 October 1917 - Amendment to the Espionage Act goes into effect, requiring every foreign-language newspaper in the U.S. to submit literal English translations of all articles containing news and comments on the war, unless exempted by official permit of the postmaster-general (effectively censoring all Germanlanguage newspapers). Many German papers receive permits almost immediately (probably due to political influence); a few had not received them by the end of the war. 27 October 1917 - American troops begin fighting in Europe. 2 November 1917 - First Americans killed near Bathelemont, France, when U.S. Engineer regiments sent to support the British are caught up in battle. 1918 - All factories east of the Mississippi shut down on Mondays to save coal [to support the war effort]; street lights are dimmed to save electricity; wheatless Tuesdays and meatless Wednesdays are observed. Daylight Savings Time signed into law by President Wilson to save electricity for the sake of the war effort. The “old” Erie Canal is replaced by the New York State Barge Canal in northern Onondaga County. 21 January 1918 - New York Philharmonic Society bars all works by living German composers. Around the same time grand opera in German is banned from the New York Metropolitan Opera House and the Chicago Opera Company. Spring 1918 - As the casualty lists begin to arrive from the Western Front, and the terrific spring offensive of the Germans gathers momentum, cases of mob violence and anti-German hysteria against “slackers” and “Huns” in the U.S. intensify. Destruction of property often is avoided only by liberal subscriptions to the Red Cross or Liberty Loans. 2 or 3 July 1918 - 6 p.m. Fifty persons killed in an explosion at the Split Rock Semet-Solvay Corporation munitions plant while producing explosives essential to the Allied war effort.
September & October 1918 - Spanish influenza, which would kill tens of millions around the world, strikes in Syracuse, first at the army encampment at the State Fairgrounds. Some 4,000 soldiers, plus 8,000 more county residents would be stricken. On 19 October 253 Syracusans die. 7 November 1918 – The “false armistice” - Newspapers in the U.S. erroneously report the end of the war, engendering premature public celebrations. 9 November 1918 - Collapse of Imperial Germany and abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II. 11 November 1918 - Fighting stops on the Western Front and the WWI Armistice signed. The Allies had mobilized over 42 million men; five million were killed, including 50,585 Americans. 19 January 1919 – 18th Amendment ratified, prohibiting liquor (the “Noble Experiment”). 5 May 1919 – L. Frank Baum dies at home, with Maud at his side. His final words: “Now we can cross the Shifting Sands,” a reference to the deserts surrounding the Land of Oz. 14 July 1919 - U.S. State Department permits resumption of trade with Germany. 25 September 1919 - President Wilson collapses in Pueblo, Colorado, while on a speaking tour, several days later suffering a stroke that incapacitates him for life.
The “Poetry” of The Wizard of Oz Following are some of Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen’s best lyrics: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the “Munchkinland Operetta,” “If I Only Had a Brain/Heart/the Noive,” “Merry Old Land Called Oz,” and “If I Were King of the Forest.” In 1939 Dorothy’s ballad captured the yearning for an end to the troubles audiences knew all too well: the lingering effects of the Great Depression were still evident, Europe’s anguish over Hitler’s aggrandizement had already begun, and, naturally, youth is always much put upon by the older generation—that has not changed for millennia! Keep an eye and both ears open for Harburg’s whimsical sense of humor and wordplay in the “Operetta” and “If I Only . . .”: the Munchkin Mayor tells Dorothy that she “will be history” but his associates say she’ll “be hist” which sounds like “hissed”! Next the Mayor says Dorothy will be “a bust,” meaning that a small statue of her will be made, but Harburg would also have known that “a bust” described a project or enterprise that failed—faint praise indeed! One last thing: Harburg and Arlen had written music for Jack Haley (the movie’s Tin Man) and Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion) before, when they all worked in vaudeville; Arlen and Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow) had been roommates in the early days of their vaudeville-tinged Broadway careers. While Haley often sang romantic ballads he would also have delivered comic songs, and vaudeville comedy was broad, including not only wordplay but even achingly bad puns. I’ve tried to put the lyrics for all three versions of “If I Only Had . . .” side by side so you might compare how each character expresses himself within the “confines” of this song. Finally, few songs are as silly as “Merry Old Land Called Oz” or “King of the Forest,” so I include them just for fun! That’s what the songwriters intended all along! Somewhere Over the Rainbow Dorothy (intro): When all the world is a hopeless jumble And the raindrops tumble all around Heaven opens a magic lane When all the clouds darken up the skyway
There’s a rainbow highway to be found Leading from your window pane To a place behind the sun Just a step beyond the rain (Verse) Somewhere over the rainbow way up high There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true (Bridge) Some day I’ll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far behind me Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That’s where you’ll find me (Refrain) Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly Birds fly over the rainbow Why then, oh why can’t I? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow Why oh why can’t I?
Composer Harold Arlen sings “Over the Rianbow”
Munchkinland Operetta Yip Harburg told interviewer Max Wilk that editing and shaping the Wizard of Oz script “gave me wider scope. Not just 32-bar songs, but what would amount to the acting out of entire scenes, dialogues in verse and set to Harold’s modern music. All of that had to be thought out by us and then brought in and shown to the director so he could see what we were getting at. Things like the three Lullaby girls and the three tough kids who represented the Lollipop Guild. And the Coroner . . . it wasn’t in the book.” It was decidedly in the film, with dialogue as well as lyrics by Yip: Dorothy. But, if you please, what are Munchkins? Glinda. The little people who live in this land. It’s Munchkinland. And you are their national heroine, my dear . . . (To Munchkins) It’s all right. You may all come out and thank her. [She starts singing in a conversational tone so that it is hard to realize, at first, that a number has begun.] Come out Come out Wherever you are And meet the young lady Who fell from a star She fell from the sky She fell very far And Kansas she says Is the name of the star Munchkins. Kansas she says Is the name of the star Glinda.
She brings you good news
Or haven’t you heard When she fell out of Kansas A miracle occurred . . . Dorothy. It really was no miracle What happened was just this The wind began to switch The house to pitch And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch Just then the witch To satisfy an itch Went flying on her broomstick Thumbing for a hitch And oh, what happen’d then was rich Munchkins. The house began to pitch The kitchen took a slitch It landed on the wicked witch In the middle of a ditch Which was not a healthy sitch-uation For a wicked witch Who began to twitch And was reduced to just a stitch Of what was once the wicked witch A Munchkin. We thank you very sweetly For doing it so neatly 2nd Munchkin. You killed her so completely That we thank you very sweetly. Glinda. Let the joyous news be spread: The wicked old witch at last is dead! Munchkins. Ding dong! The witch is dead Which old witch? The wicked witch Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead Wake up, you sleepy head Rub your eyes, Get out of bed Wake up, the wicked witch is dead She’s gone where the goblins go, Below, below, below, yo-ho Let’s open up and sing And ring the bells out Ding dong, the merry-o Sing it high, Sing it low, Let them know the wicked witch is dead
Munchkin Mayor. As Mayor of the Munchkin city In the County of The Land of Oz I welcome you most regally But we’ve got to verify it legally To see 2nd Munchkin.
Munchkin Mayor. 2nd Munchkin.
Munchkin Mayor. 2nd Munchkin. Both. Undeniably, Absolutely And reliably Dead.
Is morally, ethically, Spiritually, physically,
Coroner. As Coroner I must aver I thoroughly Examined her And she’s not only merely dead. She’s really most sincerely dead. Mayor. Then this is a day of independence For all the Munchkins and their descendants. Yes, let the joyous news be spread That the wicked old witch at last is Dead! Munchkins. Ding dong! The witch is dead Which old witch? The wicked witch Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead Wake up, you sleepy head Rub your eyes, Get out of bed Wake up, the wicked witch is dead She’s gone where the goblins go, Below, below, below, yo-ho Let’s open up and sing And ring the bells out Ding dong, the merry-o Sing it high, Sing it low, Let them know the wicked witch is dead.
Lullabye League Munchkins. We represent the Lullabye League The Lullabye League The Lullabye League And in the name of the Lullabye League We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland. Lollypop Guild Munchkins. We represent the Lollypop Guild The Lollypop Guild The Lollypop Guild And in the name of the Lollypop Guild We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland. All Munchkins. We welcome you to Munchkinland Tra la la la la Tra la la Tra la la Tra la la la la la Mayor.
From now on you’ll be history
You’ll be hist-
You’ll be hist-
Mayor. You’ll be history. And we will glorify your name You will be a bust 1st Munchkin.
Be a bust
Be a bust
In the Hall of Fame
Munchkins. Tra la la la Tra la la Tra la la Tra la la la la laaaaaaaa [Wicked Witch of the West appears in red smoke and spoken dialogue resumes] Wilk continues, “The Munchkinland operetta is more formally ambitious than anything Yip was to undertake in his later Broadway shows—in part because it comments upon a social formality and order that was fading from the American scene. The sequence isn’t simply musicalized speech; it’s musicalized speeches—of mayors and council members, union leaders and the heads of ladies’ auxiliaries, coroners and soldiers. . . .”
If I Only Had a Brain/a Heart/the Nerve Scarecrow. I could while away the hours Conferrin’ with the flow’rs Consultin’ with the rain And my head I’d be scratchin’ While my thoughts were busy hatchin’ If I only had a brain. I’d unravel ev’ry riddle For any individdle In trouble or in pain Dorothy. With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’
You could be another Lincoln If you only had a brain Scarecrow. Oh, I could tell you why The ocean’s near the shore I could think of things I never thunk before And then I’d sit And think some more I would not be just a nuffin’ My head all full of stuffin’ My heart all full of pain And perhaps I’d deserve you And be even worthy “erv” you If I only had a brain. Merry Old Land Called Oz Chorus. Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho! And a couple of tra-la-las That’s how we laugh the day away In the merry old land of Oz ‘Bzz, ‘bzz, ‘bzz, Chirp, chirp, chirp And a couple of la-de-das That’s how the crickets crick all day In the merry old land of Oz We get up at twelve And start to work at one Take an hour for lunch And then at two we’re done Jolly good fun Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho! And a couple of tra-la-las That’s how we laugh the day away In the merry old land of Oz.
Tinman. Lion. When a man’s an empty kettle Yeah, it’s sad, believe me, missy, He should be on his mettle When you’re born to be a sissy And yet I’m torn apart Without the vim and verve Just because I’m presumin’ But I could show my prow-ess That I could be kinda human Be a lion, not a mow-ess If I only had a heart. If I only had the nerve. I’d be tender, I’d be gentle I’m afraid there’s no denyin’ and awful sentimental I’m just a dandylion Regarding love and art A fate I don’t deserve I’d be friends with the sparrows I’d be brave as a blizzard And the boy that shoots the arrows Tinman. I’d be gentle as a lizard If I only had a heart. Scarecrow. I’d be clever as a gizzard Picture me a balcony Dorothy. If the wizard is a wizard Above a voice sings low Who will serve “Wherefore art Thou, Romeo?” Scarecrow. Then I’m sure to get a brain
I hear a beat How sweet! Just to register emotion, Jealousy, devotion, And really feel the part I’d stay young and chipper And I’d lock it with a zipper If I only had a heart.
Tinman. A heart Dorothy. A home Lion. The noive All. We’re off to see the wizard The wonderful Wizard of Oz . .
Tailors. A pat pat here And a pat pat there And a couple of brand new straws That’s how we keep you young and fair In the merry old land of Oz Metal Polishers. A rub rub here And a rub rub there Whether you’re tin or bronze That’s how we keep you in repair In the merry old land of Oz. Beauticians. We can make a dimple smile out of a frown Dorothy. Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown? Beautician. Uh-huh Dorothy. Jolly old town. Beauticians. A clip clip here And a clip clip there We give the roughest claws Lion. That certain air of savoir faire In the merry old land of Oz. Dorothy and Friends. Ha ha ha Ho ho ho Ha ha ha ha Lion. Haw Dorothy and Friends. That’s how we laugh the day away In the merry old land of Oz That’s how we laugh the day away With a ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha In the merry old land of Oz Ha ha ha Ha ha ha ... If I Were King of the Forest Lion. If I were King of the Forest Not Queen, not Duke, not Prince My regal robes of the forest Would be satin, not cotton, not chintz I’d command each thing Be it fish or fowl With a woof and a woof And a royal growl As I’d click my heel
All the trees would kneel And the mountains bow And the bulls kow-tow And the sparrows would take wing ‘F I, ‘f I, were king Each rabbit would show respect to me The chipmunks genuflect to me Tho’ my tail would lash I would show compash For ev’ry underling ‘F I, ‘f I, were king, —just king. Dorothy. Your majesty, if you were king You’d not be afraid of anything? Lion. Not nobody, not nohow Tinman. Not even rhinoceros? Lion. Imposserous. Dorothy. How about a hippopotamus? Lion. I’d thrash him from top to bottomamus. Dorothy. Supposin’ you met an elephant? Lion. I’d wrap him up in cellophant Scarecrow. What if it were a brontosaurus? Lion. I’d show him who’s king of the fores’. All. How? Lion. HOW? Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk In the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the hottentot so hot? What put the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got? All. Courage! Lion. (Spoken) You can say that again. Huh?! Baum Onstage! Scott Andrew Hutchins The Maid of Arran had its world premiere at Baum’s Opera House in Gillmor, Pennsylvania. It opened on 15 May 1882 [Baum’s 26th birthday] at The Grand Opera House in Syracuse, New York. It ran on Broadway at The Windsor Theatre in a special limited engagement 19-24 June 1882. It opened at the Academy of Music, Chicago, Illinois, on 9 October, for a limited run of nine shows, followed by a tour of Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, London, Ontario; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. It returned to New York at Lee Avenue Academy of Music, 26 March 1883, and returned to The Grand Opera House of Syracuse 19 May 1883. It closed in Richmond, Indiana on 7 June 1883. It was performed one final time on 17 March 1885 in Syracuse, New York. The cast was as follows:
The Maid of Arran, An Irish Idyll book, lyrics, and music by L. Frank Baum based on the novel A Princess of Thule, by William Black directed by L. Frank Baum SHIELA O’MARA, THE MAID OF ARRAN OONA MAVOURNEEN, “A girl that’s Irish from top to toe” MRS. HARRIET HOLCOMB, a disciple of Marcus Aurelius Antonius GRAY, her maid and “well broken to the harness” THE PROPHETESS, “a relic of Arran’s greatness” CAPT. JOHN INGRAM, commanding the H.M.S. FIREFLY, & M ALABAR HUGH HOLCOMB, “the fair-haired stranger,” nephew of Harriet CON. O’MARA, with “the blood of the O’Maras in his veins” (in the community theatre world premiere) PHADRIG O’ THE PIPES, a follower of O’Mara’s DENNIE, a waif “with the luck of a bad penny” THE BOATSWAIN OF THE MALABAR
Agnes Hallock Genevieve Rogers Katharine Gray [Baum’s aunt] Cordie Aiken Katharine Gray Frank E. Aiken L. Frank Baum John F. Ryan L. Frank Baum John H. Nicholson Mike J. Gallagher C.F. Edwards
L. Frank Baum was consistently credited as Louis F. Baum, and he also used the name in the family oil business. Katharine Gray, Baum’s aunt, was billed as Kate Roberts for her smaller role of The Prophetess. MUSICAL NUMBERS 1. “The Legend of Castle Arran” 2. “When O’Mara Is King Once Again” 3. “A Rollicking Irish Boy” (Song and Dance) 4. “The Legend of Castle Arran” chorus reprise 5. “Oona’s Gift: A Tuft from the Old Irish Bog” 5A. “Ship Ahoy!” 6. “Sailing” 7. “Waiting for the Tide to Turn” 8. “A Pair o’ Blue Eyes”
SHIELA CON. O’MARA DENNIE OONA OONA SHIELA SAILORS’ CHORUS HUGH OONA
SYNOPSIS OF PLAY ACT I.—A Young Man’s Fancy. ACT II.—Weighed in the Balance. ACT III.—A Friend in Need. Act IV.—The Turning of the Tide. Act V.—The Scales Balanced.
SCENE—The Ruins of Castle Arran. SCENE—Hugh Holcomb’s London Home. SCENE—Mrs. Holcomb’s Apartment at Kensington. SCENE—On Board H.M.S. MALABAR. Prison Hole. The Open Sea. The Escape SCENE—Con. O’Mara’s Island Home.
SETTING The play is set in Arran, an island in the Firth of Clyde, and in London, and at sea. The novel is set in Borva, a headland off Lewis, off the coast of Scotland, in London, and at sea. Borva appears to be fictional, though the nearest city, Stornaway, is real enough, as are some of the locations cited, including the Butt of Lewis (sic) and the island of Skye. These islands are in the Outer Hebrides, west of the Scottish mainland. Other real islands mentioned in the novel are Mull, Jura, and yes, Arran: “A flash of lightning, somewhere down among the Arran hills, interrupted the speaker,” (Black, 390). . ..
Detailed Synopsis and Lyrics Synopsis © 2001 Scott Andrew Hutchins. Lyrics © 1882 (expired) L. Frank Baum. Summary based on the 1967 microprint card produced by the New York Public Library, copy held by the Indiana University Library. Some sources state the play itself was published, but no evidence of that has come to light. Unless it does, the rights to the play are owned by The Baum Trust, so I can only quote from it sparingly. Be forewarned, however, that this synopsis contains spoilers for both the novel and the play. [* No filter found for the requested operation. | In-line.¸ … *] “The Legend of Castle Arran” SHIELA. In the days when our Isle was a kingdom And O’Mara was lord of it all, Then the fairest of Arran’s fair daughters Reign’d a princess in this Castle Hall. Oh, her eyes were the brightest, her hand was the whitest, and heart of the tightest had she. And she had a lover, and he was a rover, and sailed the blue seas o’er did he. CHORUS. Sail’d the seas o’er, Sail’d the seas o’er Sail’d the sea over did he. . . SHIELA. And she had a lover, and he was a rover, and CHORUS. Sail’d the seas over did he. SHIELA. But the day came when he had to leave her And sail to far Africa’s shore And he vow’d that he’d never deceive her But tho’ absent would love her the more, With a kiss on her lips, then he row’d to his ship, she cable did slip and away, And she utter’d no moan of the grief he had sown when he left her alone, on that day. CHORUS. Left her alone, Left her alone, Left her alone on that day. . . SHIELA. She utter’d no moan of the grief he had sown when he CHORUS. Left her alone, on that day. SHIELA. Then she sat herself down at her window To watch for his coming again With her eyes gazing far o’er the waters On her sweet face a look as of pain, Though her fond heart was burning, she stifled its yearning, her eyes were turning astray, But he came back no more from far Africa’s shore until Death came and bore her away. CHORUS. Bore her away, Bore her away, Death came and bore her away. . .
SHIELA. He came back no more from far Africa’s shore Until CHORUS. Death came and bore her away. “Waiting for the Tide to Turn” HUGH. When the tide comes in, in the dying sunset glow, And the waves dash high upon the strand, Then the sailor thinks of his sweetheart, Who is waiting in some distant land. And he sees her afar, in her home beside the sea, Only waiting for the turning of the tide. . . of the tide. Waiting for the tide to turn, Waiting for the tide to turn, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for the tide to turn. When the tide comes in, with its wealth of treasures brought From the wreck of some gallant ship at sea; Each a message from some dying seaman, To the loved ones he ne’er more will see. Then the heart grows sad, and our eyes with pity fill, At the story of the turning of the tide. . . of the tide. Waiting for the tide to turn, Waiting for the tide to turn, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting for the tide to turn. “A Pair of Blue Eyes” OONA. I’m a gay Irish girl from the county Killarney, Me mother’s a Murphy, me father’s a Kearney, I’m proud of me country and chock full of blarney, Which is not a fact to surprise. I never get tired of singing and dancing and any fine ev’ning you’ll find me a prancing, I’m fond of a joke and there’s fun always glancing straight out from a pair o’ blue eyes. Eyes of blue are always true, Admire them you can’t fail to do, The saints above would fall in love wid eyes of blue. [Dance.] Ev’ry boy says me eyes put his heart in a flurry, And then wid his love makes a bother and worry, Get married at leisure, repent in a hurry’s A maxim I’ll never despise. Be me faith then I’ll think that I’ll let them kape trying, I’m sure wid their love they will never be dying, What matters to me if the whole world is sighing wid love for a pair o’ blue eyes. Eyes of blue are always true,
Admire them you can’t fail to do, The saints above would fall in love wid eyes of blue. [Dance.] The work of William Black, or at least this particular novel, seems to have been highly influential on Baum’s writing style. It is much easier to get a sense of Baum from reading this than Dickens or Shakespeare, said to be Baum’s greatest influences. Perhaps this early success in Baum’s career was more of a milestone than it has heretofore been treated. [Other Roles from] Baum’s Acting Career Mother Goose Entertainments by the Ladies of the Unitarian Church, 3 December 1879 Mother Goose..................................Cynthia S. Baum Jack Goose..........................................L. Frank Baum Pretty Maid................................Mrs. Frank Hiscock Courtier........................................Mr. Frank Hiscock Man in the Moon..........................Forbes Heermans Little Maid.......................................Mary Heermans Jack Sprat..........................................Mr. O.V. Tracy Lucy Locket.....................................Mrs. O.V. Tracy Big Bad Wolf..............................Mr. W.B. Ostrander Woman to Sweep the Sky...…..Mrs. W.B. Ostrander Narrator...................................…......Katharine Gray Dora by Charles Read, based on the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson performed by The Garrick Club, late April 1884 Luke Bloomfield........................................................L. Frank Baum The Maid of Arran by L. Frank Baum performed by The Young Men’s Dramatic Club of Syracuse, 1887 Con. O’Mara..............................................................L. Frank Baum Roaring Camp by Will Rogers, adapted from “The Luck of Roaring Camp” by Bret Harte directed by Dave Hatford performed by The Uplifters Club of Los Angeles, 1915 L. Frank Baum Dr. Edgerton Carter Carl de V. Hundt [Hutchins notes:] This page is in serious need of updating. It is known that Baum acting in many plays with The Uplifters, as well as early on playing leading roles in Hamlet and The Banker’s Daughter.
Matilda Joslyn Gage, Baum’s mother-in-law Matilda Joslyn Gage was born in Cicero, New York, an eastern suburb of Syracuse, in 1826. She made her first public speech at the third national Women’s Rights convention in Syracuse in 1852, and rapidly became a leader in the women’s rights movement. Raised in an Abolitionist home that was a station on the underground railroad, where she was taught multiple languages, Gage was throughout her career among the more radical leaders of the movement, and like Elizabeth Cady Stanton focused particularly on the role of social and religious institutions as well as civil concerns. Her writing focused on significant accomplishments of women in invention, military affairs, and in history. Gage co-authored with Stanton and Susan B. Anthony the first three volumes of A History of Woman Suffrage. She also worked with Stanton on The Woman’s Bible, and in 1893 she published Woman, Church and State, her most widely known solo publication. In 1879 Gage’s newspaper, The National Citizen and Ballot Box, published the early sections of A History of Woman Suffrage, including Stanton’s account of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. The newspaper was used prior to printing in book form in order to provide an opportunity for comment. In 1880 Gage became the first woman to vote in Fayetteville under a state law that permitted women to vote in school board Susan B. Anthony elections. [She often visited her daughter Maud and son-in-law Frank, and so heard Frank tell his sons and their friends many stories. It was her influence on Frank Baum that led him to write down some of these stories, else we may never have known Dorothy and her Oz companions.] Gage’s Fayetteville home is privately owned, and bears only a small plaque marking it as a site of significance. The inscription on her gravestone in the Fayetteville Cemetery was a lifelong motto with which she frequently signed autographs, including the 1876 Centennial memorial: There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven, that word is Liberty.
Matilda Joslyn Gage: Forgotten Feminist Sally Roesch Wagner Sally Roesch Wagner, PhD, of Fayetteville is widely regarded as the leading authority on the life and work of Matilda Joslyn Gage, also of Fayetteville, New York. Introduced by Susan B. Anthony at the International Council of Women in 1888, Matilda Joslyn Gage began her speech with a brief sketch of her early entry into the suffrage movement: I have frequently been asked what first turned by thoughts toward woman’s rights. I think I was born with a hatred of oppression, and, too, in my father’s house, I was trained in the anti-slavery ranks, for it was one of the stations on the underground railway, and a home of anti-slavery speakers. Well I remember the wonder with which, when a young girl, I looked upon Abby Kelly, when she spoke of the wrongs of black women and black men. Then I remember . . . a large and enthusiastic anti-slavery convention was held, attended by thousands of people who all joined in singing William Lloyd Garrison’s song, “I’m an Abolitionist and glory in the Name,” and as they rang out that glorious defiance against wrong, it thrilled my very heart, and I feel it echoing to this day. I am indebted to my father for something better than a collegiate education. He taught me to think for myself,
and not to accept the word of any man, or society, or human being, but to fully examine for myself. My father was a physician, training me himself, giving me lessons in physiology and anatomy, and while I was a young girl he spoke of my entering Geneva Medical College, whose president was his old professor, and studying for a physician, but that was not to be. I had been married quite a number of years when Elizabeth Blackwell was graduated from that institution, which opened its doors to admit her, closing them, upon her graduation, to women, until its union with Syracuse University. But with regard to woman’s rights proper, when I saw the reports of the first convention in the New York Tribune, I knew my place; and when I read the notice of a convention to be held in Syracuse, in 1852, I at once decided to publicly join the ranks of those who spoke against wrong. But I was entirely ignorant of all parliamentary rule, or what was necessary to be done. I prepared my speech, and going to the convention, sat near the front, and with a palpitating heart waited until I obtained courage to go upon the platform, probably to the interference of arrangements, for I knew nothing about the proper course for me to take. But I was so sweetly welcomed by the sainted Lucretia Mott, who gave me a place, and, when I had finished speaking, referred so pleasantly to what I had said [that] to her my heart turned always with truest affection. Soon after the close of the convention, almost immediately afterwards, it was criticized from the pulpit by the Rev. Mr. Ashley, of the Episcopal Church, and Rev. Mr. Sunderland, now of this city, but then established at Syracuse. With the latter gentleman I carried on a long newspaper controversy. As [it] has been truly said, it is not religion that has opposed woman suffrage, because true religion believes in undoing the heavy burdens and letting the oppressed go free. But from the church and from theology this reform has met opposition at every step. . . . It was Gage’s outspoken opposition to the bigotry of Christian theology that would eventually cost her dearly. The price of liberty to Matilda Joslyn Gage became historical invisibility. “Until liberty is attained—the broadest, the deepest, the highest liberty for all—not one set alone, [nor] one clique alone, but for men and women, black and white, Irish, Germans, Americans, and Negroes, there can be no permanent peace.” Gage spoke these words during the Civil War, and they characterize her life-long commitment to the struggle of freedom for all people. Suggested Activities from: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Website
Eric P. Gjovaag According to Mr. Gjovaag’s webpage, “These lesson plans are not intended to be complete, but merely to suggest directions a Wizard of Oz-themed lesson can go. For this reason, I have decided not to give any sort of grade range. It is up to the teachers, who know their students and their abilities, to adapt these ideas for their classes. (It should be noted that many of these plans are based on the original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which the famous movie is based on, but there are some differences.) . . . . Don’t let the somewhat arbitrary labels throw you; there is a lot of interdisciplinary learning here, and I give some suggestions of what other areas similar lessons can be applied.” Science and Health What a difference bones make! The class builds a life-sized Scarecrow to learn the difference skeletal systems make to the way their bodies work. What are things made of? Teach the categories of matter using the Oz characters (animal/Cowardly Lion, vegetable/Scarecrow and mineral/Tin Man). What makes each essential? Water melts the Wicked Witch of the West and what else? In Baum’s book, Dorothy says the Witch melts like brown sugar. Build small brown sugar witches and melt them. Have students discover what else is water soluble by attempting to dissolve different solids in water.
Are prairies really all gray? What other colors are found on the prairie? Have students count the colors in their classroom, clothing or that they can see out their window. Identify the grasslands/prairies around the earth and compare the natural resources found there to those where the students live. (Also ties in with geography.) Get carried way with a study of tornadoes (or understanding storms in general). . . . NOAA’s tornado page and The Tornado Project Online are good starting points. Why aren’t our streets paved in gold? And our shoes made of sterling silver? From non-renewable natural resources to items made with skill, some things have more monetary value than others in our society. Students identify and report on what is valued and why. Examples can be historic and contemporary. (Also ties in with geography, sociology, and economics.) Gemstones are common in Oz, from rubies to emeralds. What are gems, how are they made, and why are they so valuable? And could you really make a city of emeralds, or wear a pair of ruby shoes? The animals of Oz. Study the habitats, diet and characteristics of dogs, lions, field mice and monkeys. Why does courage matter to a lion? Why is he called the king of beasts? Poppies. Identify different colors and varieties of poppies. Figure how many it would take to fill a field the size of a football stadium/playground/nearby park. Make paper poppies as an arts and crafts project, or grow real poppies in class. (Also ties in with mathematics and art.) Weight. The field mice pull the Cowardly Lion from the poppy field. The Tin Man and Scarecrow carry a sleeping Dorothy to safety. Later, the flying monkeys carry Dorothy and the Lion (briefly). How can you carry a friend safely? Learn appropriate lifting habits and study weight. (Also ties in with mathematics.) Why do we sleep? Night after night in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow and Tin Man stand quietly and watch Dorothy sleeping, wondering why she does it. What does sleep do to restore us? How much sleep do people need? In the famous 1939 Judy Garland movie, the whole adventure is a dream caused by stress and a bump on the head. Why do we dream? Why do we dream only during the R. E. M. stage of sleep? Also, dreams are often spawned by events that have already happened to us. For example, Dorothy placed Hunk in her dream as the brainless Scarecrow because, before she was knocked unconscious, Hunk told Dorothy to use her brains about Miss Gulch, and that her brains weren’t made out of straw. This phenomenon can be explored as used in the movie, Return to Oz (1985), or in general. The Munchkins grew to be no bigger than Dorothy. What factors effect how much you will grow? Discuss genetics, diet, exercise and other factors that influence size. For an “Ozzy” way to explain some ideas of more advanced science, you may want to acquire the book The Wizard of Quarks: A Fantasy of Particle Physics by Robert Gilmore. Geography Students can create their own maps of Oz, based on the endpapers of [the book] Tik-Tok of Oz or the set of maps printed and sold by the International Wizard of Oz Club. Or use the maps to develop mapreading skills. (Also ties in with art.) Using a list of all the languages into which The Wizard of Oz has been translated (about sixty at last count), students find countries where those languages are spoken. Kids also could report on what life was like in those countries in the year 1900 (when the novel was first published) and how it has changed. (Also ties in with history.) Where are you from? Students find out and report to the class where their recent ancestors called “home.” How far back in their family must they look to find ancestors who were not American? Use a map of the world to create a class profile. This could support a curriculum unit on diversity. (Also ties in with history.) If there was a Yellow Brick Road between your house and the White House (or anywhere else, like Seattle, “The Emerald City”), how long would it take you to get there if you walked all the way? Dorothy often rode the Cowardly Lion (note to teachers, remember that Baum’s character is a fourlegged beast, not a man in a lion suit. . .). What types of transportation could you ride? How long would each method of transportation take and what would it cost?
If you traveled by ground, what places would you see along the way? How would your journey have been different 100 years ago? (Also ties in with history.) History Write an essay comparing turn-of-the-century schooling to schools today. Or Dorothy’s home to their own home. Or her family to theirs. (Also ties in with language arts.) Live for a day like it was in 1900 schools, with only books—no TV, recorded music, computers or videos. Have the teacher and students use only chalk and the chalkboards, share their books and otherwise mimic the 1900 schoolroom. If available locally, take a field trip to restored/preserved turn-of-the-century site(s). The State of Kansas is known around the globe because of Dorothy. What else has Kansas contributed to history, literature, etc., and what are the state’s contributions today? (Also ties in with geography.) The States: Each child takes a state and identifies/reports on the best-known thing about it. Or have groups investigate the states L. Frank Baum lived in: New York, South Dakota, Illinois and California. How is that particular thing communicated to different generations? (Also ties in with geography and language arts.) What ways (legends, letters, books, songs, plays, films, exhibits, etc.) are there to communicate history? (Also ties in with language arts.) Create a Yellow Brick timeline of Baum’s life and the creation of the Oz books. Who was L. Frank Baum? Students can research him and present their findings. Compare the written biographies of Baum with the television movie The Dreamer of Oz (televised Dec. 10, 1990). Baum’s mother-in-law was Matilda Gage, a Fayetteville, NY, native and one of the leaders of the turn-of-the-century Women’s Suffrage movement. Students can research Gage and the Suffrage movement, and how they influenced Baum’s career. (Baum satirizes the Suffrage movement in [the book] The Marvelous Land of Oz.) Many people believe that The Wizard of Oz is a political story, a thinly-veiled satire of the American Populist movement of the turn of the century. While most Baum and Oz scholars don’t believe this to be the case, it does demonstrate that Baum’s writings reflected the times he lived in. Other examples of world events influencing Baum’s works may include the Women’s Suffrage movement in The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), the San Francisco Earthquake in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908), and the Russian Revolution in The Magic of Oz (1919). How many other real-life examples can be found in the Oz books, or any other source? (Note that there are no strict right-and-wrong answers to this, it’s all a matter of interpretation. Also ties in with language arts.) Mathematics Make a Yellow Brick Road of paper for your classroom floor (or go outside and use yellow street chalk). How many bricks would it take to make your Yellow Brick Road cross the hall? run across the playground? down the street? What about if the individual bricks were smaller or larger? If field mice really could each pull X ounces, how many would it take to pull the Cowardly Lion to safety? Note the added weight of the wooden “truck” built by the Tin Man and the weights of different lengths of string. Dorothy lived in Kansas, where there are lots of sunflowers. How many seeds are in a sunflower? (Also ties in with science.) Analyze the Scarecrow’s speech from the movie when he gets his diploma, comparing it to the Pythagorean theorem. Just how good was that diploma, anyway? In The Marvelous Land of Oz, an important magic spell involves counting to seventeen by two’s. How can this be done? Could Tip’s problems with the spell have been the result of faulty mathematics? Language Arts The Oz books can be used to discuss cause-and-effect, foreshadowing, or just about any other literary convention or device.
Kids read translations of a popular book/fairy tale originally written in one of the languages into which Oz has been translated. The stories can also be compared to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. (Also ties in with geography.) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been called the first American fairy tale. Have students talk about it in relation with other fairy tales they are familiar with (Grimm, Perrault, etc.). Read a chapter from one of the Oz books, and leave off at an exciting place. Challenge the students to write the ending. What would your students like the Wizard to give them, if they could meet him? What might characters from other stories, movies, television, etc. ask from him? How do illustrations effect a story? Find the (three) illustrations of the Wicked Witch of the West that Mr. Denslow drew in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Look at Denslow’s Winged Monkeys. Are these characters frightening or funny? Oz has illustrations on nearly every page. Why would illustrations make a book particularly appealing to turn-of-the-century kids? (Note: Baum intentionally developed characters that would not be frightening to children, a concept that was reversed in the classic 1939 film based on his book. His Wicked Witch also had such a minor role in the book that she was completely omitted in the earliest theatrical productions of the story. Do not assume an MGM-like witch when approaching the Baum material.) Since many others have illustrated Oz over the last century, other artists can be used as well, and compared. (Also ties in with art.) Word games: Make other words from the letters in The Wizard of Oz, write vertical poems around Oz character names, etc. In student pairs, role play Dorothy and a reporter. Write an interview with Dorothy for the school/ community paper after she returns that reports her adventures in journalist style. Kids could write from Dorothy’s perspective thanking her friends in Oz for their help while she was lost or telling Aunt Em why she misses home. They could be the Wizard and apologize for leaving without Dorothy or for being a humbug. They could write to author L. Frank Baum and tell him what they think of his book and what they’d like to see happen to Dorothy next. There are lots of variations on this note-writing themes. Where do other storybook characters live? Identify real and make believe places. Make a pretend continent where all the make-believe places are found. (Also ties in with geography.) What makes fairy tales different from other books? From royalty to dragons, mermaids and hobbits discuss the use of what is “real” and what is make-believe in creating stories. As a group or as individuals (depending on age) have the kids make up original fairy tales. The class could develop plays based on their stories, or make actual books (with some cardboard and maybe pieces of wallpaper or their own art for the cover and endpapers). What are the differences between the book and the movie? Why were these changes made? How is telling a story by writing it down different from showing it on a stage or screen? Encourage students to write their own, original Oz adventures. The students can even make themselves the main characters! How did they get there? Who did they meet? What problems did they encounter? How do they get home? Use The Marvelous Land of Oz or any of the later Oz books to bring up the idea of a sequel. Discuss what a sequel is and why an author would write one. Students can also write their own sequel to The Wizard of Oz or any other story. Students can write and/or perform original Oz plays, skits or radio programs, as the movie’s original audience may have heard the tale. The newspaper of Oz is called The Ozmapolitan. Students can write and illustrate their own issue of The Ozmapolitan with news of what’s going on in Oz. Use the events of an Oz book, or create your own news. Use Oz words for spelling, or study some of the more obscure vocabulary from the books or movie. (What does caliginous mean, anyway?) Society has changed greatly since 1900, when the book was originally written. In the movie version of The Wiz, we see The Wizard of Oz all urbanized. Most of Oz looks like back alleys, forests are replaced with amusement parks and subway stations. Students can make The Wizard of Oz more modern. Imagine Dorothy
as a JLo-obsessed valley girl with a pair of silver platforms. Maybe the Lion could be a tough, cigar-smoking geezer with no real tough stuff. Who knows what you can come up with, but have students rewrite The Wizard of Oz as if it were to take place in the current year and illustrate. Art and Music Students can draw their favorite Oz characters or places, or make Oz sculptures, collages, batiks, masks, oversize cutouts, silkscreens. . . Set up an Oz museum. Let students bring in Oz memorabilia or other objects relating to the story. Let them create labels and explanations for the items. This could also be used to exhibit the items from the first idea. . . What different kinds of musical instruments might be used to characterize each of the Oz characters, especially the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion? What kinds of tunes or rhythms might characterize each one (a la “Peter and the Wolf”)? How might each character dance or move to their instrument or rhythm? (Also ties in with physical education.) In the movie, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion sang songs about themselves and what they wanted, all to the same tune. What might other characters from the movie have sung to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain/a Heart/the Nerve”? What about characters from other stories, or the students themselves? The two-CD movie soundtrack set from the movie, issued by Rhino Records, includes several tracks not used in the movie. Some were tests, some were alternate takes, and some were just cut due to time constraints. Share these tracks with students, and discuss how a movie soundtrack develops, or how music is used in the movies and on television. Compare the songs and soundtracks of The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz (both available on CD). How are they the same? How are they different? What musical styles and traditions are in each? Social and Life Skills Good things come in small packages. Munchkins are important people in Oz, described as being “no taller than Dorothy, who was just a little girl herself.” Discuss the wonderful things only small people can do. Make this an opportunity to influence kids to appreciate those who are noticeably small. From the little people who could repair World War II airplane wings (from the inside!), to entertainment industry stand-ins/stunt men and jockeys, reinforce the value and contributions of mature little people over the years. (Solicit content help from the Little People of America organization.) Recommend documentaries on this topic (one even includes interviews with actors/actresses who played Munchkins in the 1939 MGM Oz classic). Discuss appropriate vocabulary when referring to those who are small. Explain the right and wrong difference between labeling someone for where they are from (American/Munchkin) versus their physical characteristics (giants/mermaids) using fantasy people to illustrate. Apply the lesson to real people today. Could incorporate professional titles and other vocabulary. Do a “what are you” exercise that has kids think of names they are proud to be called. Lost can be lonesome. What should you do and who should you to turn to if you are lost? How can you help someone who is lost? How would it feel to be lost? Could tie in a program that documents info on kids for security purposes. Dogs can be more than friends. Toto, Dorothy’s pet dog, travels with her to Oz and protects her from many dangers. Study different breeds of dogs and how working dogs (guide dogs, guard dogs, sled dogs, World War I messenger dogs, “actor” dogs) are raised and used. Invite a person who uses a working dog to visit the class. Or, in areas near a guide-dog training foundation (or other dog school) have a trainer or member of a guide-dog puppy’s foster family speak to the class. Have kids who own dogs talk about their pets. Use a creative problem solving process in discussing Oz stories as they are read to the class, and what’s coming next.
Home Economics Find a copy of an Oz-themed cookbook (see those listed below). Study how the recipes are categorized by what region of Oz is highlighted, and how ordinary recipes are “Ozzified.” Let students create their own “Ozzy” recipes. Cooking in Oz: Kitchen Wizardry from America’s Favorite Fairy Tale by Elaine Willingham and Stephen Cox. Recipes from many Oz celebrities and fans. Forward by movie Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini. The Wizard of Oz Cookbook. Recipes inspired by Kansas, Munchkinland, the Emerald City, and every point in between. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook by Monica Bayley. Oz-themed recipes for young chefs to try out. The Oz Project This is a project put together in Aberdeen, South Dakota. (L. Frank Baum lived in Aberdeen for a number of years before he became an author, and his writing was influenced by the Aberdeen area.) Since this is an interdisciplinary, cross-grade assignment, there is no easy way to summarize it. Therefore, I am quoting it exactly as it appears in a pamphlet of Oz lessons for teachers, assembled and distributed by the L. Frank Baum Oz Festival. A letter to 9th Grade Students This project is a collaborative effort between our 9th grade Art Students and the Henry Neill 3rd grade Physical Education students. You will begin by working in groups of 3-5 students depending on the number of students in class. Your job will be to read/research four of the Ozian character groups (some you may not have heard of before). The group names are: The Winkies, The Gillikins, The Munchkins, and The Quadlings. You will need to answer various questions about the character groups like, What are their personalities like, How do they act and talk, What do they look like, etc. to decide what each of the groups are like. From this information you will need to write a description of these characters for the 3rd grade students. You will need to write the information clearly and in an “easy to read” format. You will be listening to some music from an “Oz” album—you will need to choose the song which you feel would be best for your “character group” (We will need to come to consensus with all of the 9th grade students regarding the song). You will then draw a picture of the characters from your description. The 3rd grade students are going to read your descriptions and also draw a picture of the character. The following week we will exchange the drawings so each of you will have an individual student to write to. At that time, you will compare/contrast ideas from the drawings and we will email a note/letter back to your 3rd grade “partner.” Who in turn will e-mail a note back to you. You may be able to communicate like this a few times. We’ll see how it works. Once all of the information has been shared the 3rd grade students will be creating a dance/ gymnastics routine to the music you have chosen (using the dance/art information you provide on shape, line/ pathways, texture, color, pattern, and space). At that time, you will be creating masks for these third graders to wear during their routine. The final process will be a costumed dance/gymnastics routine performed by the 3rd graders. Video and still photos will be taken by selected 9th grade students. We will then do some simple editing by adding the video, the still photos, and text. The 3rd grade students are really going to “Look up to you”! Basically, you are going to be the “Producers” while they will be the “Workers.” Please be polite, kind, helpful and understanding, be a good role model for these students!!! Resources for Teachers (and others who might be interested) The International Wizard of Oz Club. The Oz Club has members throughout the United States and other parts of the world, and may be able to get you in touch with an Oz expert or collector in your area to talk to your
class. The Club’s website also has useful information on Baum’s life, the history of Oz, and other areas of interest. The Seamonkey Oz Home Page. This is a website made up of students’ writings and drawings of Oz. Lots of ideas here! Read the original novel. Suggested Post-Performance Activities When Dorothy returns to Kansas, the adults assure themselves that she has simply had a bad dream although she denies it. Was it a dream? Did it really happen? Before Dorothy’s Oz adventures Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and the farmhands had all given her practical advice as to how to deal with Miss Gulch, but Dorothy had “dreamed” of leaving Miss Gulch behind by going “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Is one approach to Miss Gulch “better” than another? Why? Why do you think Dorothy is the only dreamer? Director Bob Moss wonders if life is possible without dreaming. What do you think? Sharp-eyed audience members may notice familiar Syracuse elements in the scenery used in our production: list them, either as individuals or as a group activity. People may also notice that some of the Ozian elements were present in the Kansas settings—which ones, and how were they used in each setting? The 1939 movie, on which our production is based, was careful to introduce its audience to 3 farmhands who are Dorothy’s friends before she is whirled away to Oz and meets 3 “different” friends. How different are they? How are they similar? Why do you think the screenwriters chose to create Zeke, Hickory and Hunk? Were the writers faithful to Frank Baum’s story, or not? Director Bob Moss has these further suggestions: have students create their own Ozes: what would they include and exclude? How would they reach their Ozes? Dorothy travels by tornado in The Wizard but she “travels” by floating chicken coop and earthquake in some of the other stories. Students could write a story, a newspaper article, an essay, create the laws governing it (if any), or draw/paint/otherwise artistically create their dream worlds. (We would love to see copies if you have time to make and send them to me!) Sources Consulted Colin Clements. No ed. 17 October 2002. University of California at Santa Barbara. 19 July 2003. http:// www.library.ucsb.edu/speccoll/sbauthors_ce.html Edgar Allan Woolf. Hal Erickson, ed. ©2003. Yahoo.com. 19 July 2003. http://movies.yahoo.com/ shop?d=hc&id=1800067715&cf=biog&intl=us —. No ed. 24 September 1997. The International Wizard of Oz Club, Inc. 19 July 2003. http:// www.ozclub.org/reference/oztl1939.htm Ever Since Eve (Florence Ryerson). 19 July 2003. http://www.dramashop.com/flp.html E.Y. Harburg. No ed. © 2002. Songwriters Hall of Fame.org. 8 July 2003. http://
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