15 of 19
The Ruby Slippers Travel to Chicago
Drive-ins and hamburger joints aren't the only places to find American nostalgia. The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. is the home to many historic treasures, including memorabilia from many of Hollywood's beloved movies.

The ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz are among the museum's most iconic Hollywood items. Dorothy's sparkly red shoes journeyed far from home for a rare one-time appearance on The Oprah Show—and they travel in style!

On the trip from the museum in Washington, D.C., the ruby slippers were accompanied by an entourage to rival an A-list celebrity's. For the voyage, the slippers were securely packed in a box. Then, with the protection of two armed guards, the ruby slippers flew first-class to Chicago.

The museum's director, Dr. Brent Glass, says they are priceless. "There's the value to the American public and really to the whole world because people treasure the memory of seeing The Wizard of Oz," he says. "The value, I think, is really important because they are a treasure of our youth. They're a treasure of the story of The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy's quest to find her way home."

Carefully handling the slippers using white gloves, Dr. Glass shows Oprah their felt soles. "They were worn by Judy Garland during her dance routines on the Yellow Brick Road because there's felt on the bottom of these slippers," he says. The felt helped muffle the sound of dance steps.
FROM: What Makes America America
Published on January 23, 2008


Next Story