Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy birthday, L. Frank Baum!

On this day in 1856, a son was born to Benjamin and Cynthia Baum of Chittenango, New York. They named him Lyman Frank, but almost right away he became known as Frankie, or Frank as he grew up. As an adult, he dabbled in many careers — actor and theater manager, salesman and variety store owner, newspaper reporter and editor — but he finally became a success when, at the urging of his mother-in-law, he started writing down some of the stories he'd been telling his sons and their friends. It took a while for Frank to find a publisher, then for the public to find his stories, but before long he was making a modest living as a children's book author. He achieved immortality with one of his books, published on this day in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Happy 150th birthday, L. Frank Baum. I'm sorry I won't be able to celebrate properly today, but I just have too many other things going on today. Maybe I can rewatch The Dreamer of Oz over Memorial Day weekend, and I will definitely be part of the festivities at the Winkie Convention this summer.

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