Grand Rapids, Minnesota is Judy Garland’s hometown the famous ruby slippers the actress wore in the classic 1939 Film “The Wizard of Oz” were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in August 2005. The slippers were originally insured for a massive £775,000 ($1,000,000). Initially, law enforcement was offering a reward of $250,000 for their safe return, but a fan in Arizona added another $1,000,000 reward in 2015.

As noted by the BBC, those famous ruby slippers are not in Kansas anymore, Toto – they have been recovered by the FBI. Now law enforcement has the task of tracking down the original thief.

Classic emblem of film history

Judy Garland wore those sequined ruby slippers in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” and they ended up in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where they were displayed with pride. However, in August 2005, a thief climbed in through one of the museum’s windows and broke the glass display case, taking the slippers.

It is unsure whether someone finally got paid the $250,000 and further $1,000,000 reward, but the ruby slippers will return to their original owner, causing a grand celebration in the town. The FBI released a news conference about the find, encouraging the public to come forward if they know anything about the theft and its perpetrator.

The ruby slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum courtesy of the owner, Michael Shaw, a collector of Hollywood memorabilia.

The slippers are not the only pair, however, as three other pairs of ruby slippers, worn by Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” are currently being held by the Smithsonian, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a private collector.

Integral part of ‘The Wizard Of Oz’

The ruby slippers were an integral part of the story.

In the film, Garland’s character, Dorothy, was mysteriously taken to the Land of Oz, following a tornado which hit her family’s Kansas farm. The idea of the slippers was that Dorothy had to click her heels three times while wearing the ruby slippers and say there was no place like home in order to leave Oz and return to the farm.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ and Garland

As reported by ITV, the film was a box office smash in 1939, going on to win several Academy Awards, including the award for the best cinematography and best picture. While the slippers were ruby red, the film was shown in both remastered colour and black and white.

According to her IMDb biography, Garland was originally born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She lived in the town until the age of four when they moved to Los Angeles. Her acting, singing and dancing career began at the age of two and ended at the age of 47, when Garland died in Chelsea, London of a barbiturate overdose

The town of Grand Rapids opened the museum in her honour in 1975 in her original home. The museum claims to have the biggest collection of “The Wizard Of Oz” and Judy Garland memorabilia.