L. Frank Baum's popular children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was first published in the United States on this day in 1900. When production company MGM bought the rights for a film adaptation of the book, the ambitious project quickly became one of the most expensive films of all time. Studio head Louis B. Mayer decided that the movie would be one of the first to use Technicolor, a new technology that added real-to-life color to motion pictures. MGM’s gamble paid off — star Judy Garland won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and according to the U.S. Library of Congress, “The Wizard of Oz” is the most viewed film of all time.
“I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” —
Tin Man, “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)