I'm absolutely blown away from a quote I saw from a relative of L. Frank Baum that suggested that the Wizard of Oz could have been inspired by and possibly partially written while in Holland. I discovered this after an article we recently wrote discussing the Wizard of Oz Sculpture Park that rests in the heart of Holland, Michigan. The quote was observed from the cities website:

In 1899, L. Frank Baum, author of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, vacationed in Macatawa on the shores of Lake Michigan, just minutes from downtown Holland. It is suggested by Baum’s great grandson that parts of this classic tale were most likely written or worked on while staying at his family’s cottage, The Sign of the Goose.

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Destroying His Legacy

What REALLY crushed me is as cool as this is, it turns out L. Frank was a racist piece of crap, according to an editorial he wrote before Oz came out while running a newspaper in South Dakota. The quote is in regards to the murder of Sitting Bull in the Saturday Pioneer:

With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are.

I was so excited that Wizard of Oz had a strong Michigan influence, but it seems the author was completely out of touch and sadly, his legacy has a giant stain on it.

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