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This Day in Pop Culture for August 15

The Wizard of Oz

1939: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Premieres in Hollywood

One of America’s most beloved movies, The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on this day in 1939. The film opened nationally on August 25, 1939. Despite the popularity of the film today, at the time, the movie initially recorded a loss of $1,145,000 for the studio. MGM, the studio behind the film, did not see a profit on the film until it was re-released in 1949. The film has been recognized by the American Film Institute (AFI) numerous times. Oz has been placed as the #6 best movie of all time, #4 for worst villain, and #1 for best song. (Image: Wikimedia/MGM)

1969: Woodstock is Held

Though expecting “no more than 50,000 people, about 400,000 people attended the Woodstock Music Art Fair which began on this day in 1969. After numerous changes in venues, Woodstock finally landed at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Local townspeople were unhappy about the concert and posted “Buy No Milk. Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival.” Due to recent rains, the grounds were muddy, food supplies where great and the sanitation was poor. Newspaper headlines read, “Hippied Mired in a Sea of Mud.” Despite the conditions, it is reported that the festival was reasonable peaceful, but two deaths occurred (one from a heroin overdose and accident involving a tractor and an attendee sleeping in hay field nearby), two births and four miscarriages. Roy Rogers was asked to sing “Happy Trails” at the end of the festival, but he declined.

Movies Released

  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  • Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
  • The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)
  • The Expendables 3 (2014)
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
  • Uptown Girls (2003)

TV Series Debuts

  • The Larry Sanders Show (1992)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1912: Julia Child (chef)
  • 1914: Paul Rand (graphic designer)
  • 1968: Debra Messing (actress)
  • 1970: Ben Silverman (actor)
  • 1972: Ben Affleck (actor)
  • 1989: Joe Jonas (singer)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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