Latest Kickstarter: Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers

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Is there a more famous pair of shoes than the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz?” We can’t think of any.

The sequined shoes have been part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History since 1979, and they are in need of repair — a somewhat staggering $300,000 to repair and preserve the shoes.

Counting on Americans’ love for the film, the Smithsonian on Monday launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to raise the needed funds and after just one day more than $35,000 has been pledged.

This isn’t the Smithsonian’s first Kickstarter campaign. Last year the institution raised more than $700,000 in a campaign to raise $500,000 to repair and preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore on the moon.

As with all Kickstarter campaigns, backers are being offered a variety of rewards for contributions. Replica slippers, T-shirts, posters, decals and tote bags are available for gifts of as little as $10, with special tours and your name on the donor wall for a gift of $10,000.

As noted in the Kickstarter description, the Smithsonian receives federal money for operations, but projects like this one are not covered and must be funded in some other fashion: “[W]e won’t be able to do this project without the participation of Kickstarter backers.”

If there’s truly no place like home, Dorothy’s ruby slippers have found theirs at a museum that is open to everyone with no admission charge. Now, tap your heels together three times …

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