While digging around in the basement recently, I ran across my Bicentennial scrapbook. As a teenager outside Philadelphia in 1976, I was fascinated by the 200th birthday celebration - although I quickly grew more fascinated by the earlier Centennial and Sesquicentennial celebrations. These had included World Fairs held in Philadelphia, rather than random events around the region - but there were still a lot of things to see and do that summer.
At any rate, aside from the various newspaper accounts of celebration events, there were two particular clippings I included in the book. The first is the obituary for Ruth Plumly Thompson, from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Thompson died on April 6th, 1976. I had only recently re-discovered the Oz books at that point, and had never read a Thompson title - at that time, her books simply were not available. I had already started rummaging through used book stores in the area, but had had little success in finding much Oz related material. I still remember my surprise at learning that she had lived in the region!
The other clipping is from an answer column that ran in the paper. This one is interesting as it's from a woman whose mother owned a house in Chittenango, NY, where she believed the author of The Wizard of Oz had once lived. The paper agreed that the house sounded like Roselawn, L. Frank Baum's childhood home, and suggested contacting Oz Club member Ray Powell for more information. This coming weekend is the 33rd annual Oz-Stravaganza! celebration in Chittenango - an event that started in 1978, a couple years after this column was printed!