5:35 AM PDT, July 13, 2021
A dress once worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” has been found at a university in Washington, D.C. The dress, which was given to the Catholic University of America nearly 50 years ago by actress Mercedes McCambridge, was recently discovered in a box placed atop mail slots near a professor’s desk.
Matt Ripa, who works for the school’s drama department, said he’d been looking for the dress in 2014, when another, now-retired professor found it, and placed it in his office, according to a press release by the school.
Ripa hadn’t been able to locate it though until recently.
“As soon as I popped the top off the box, I knew what it was,” Ripa told The Washington Post. “I saw that blue gingham and I just started laughing and laughing. I mean, I’m still laughing. Because I was shocked, holding a piece of Hollywood history right in my hands.”
The school verified the dress’s authenticity through the entertainment curator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.
This is the sixth version of Dorothy’s dress from the 1939 film that still exists.