August 07, 2014


August 7, 2014 Photo (219/365): "No Place Like Home"

Tonight Oconomowoc celebrated the 75th Anniversary 
of the world première of The Wizard of Oz

In 1939, MGM was skeptical about the groundbreaking film (one of the first to use color). The studio was worried about the competition from other successful 1939 films, including Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so rather than rejection by debuting it in Hollywood, they decided upon Small Town, America -- namely Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Meinhart Raabe, the "munchkin" that played the coroner who declared that the Wicked Witch was dead, lived in Okauchee Lake, so he suggested Oconomowoc as an appropriate location for the official world première.
Tonight the town was transformed into the Emerald City 
as lights glowed green and shop windows displayed tributes to the film.
Oconomowoc City Hall