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Historical Artifacts Moved to Air and Space Museum

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Historical Artifacts Moved to Air and Space Museum

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Historical Artifacts Moved to Air and Space Museum

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

You can find all this at the National Air and Space Museum. Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet...

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: Tito Puente's timbales...

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: Carrie Bradshaw's laptop from Sex in the City...

(Soundbite of TV show "Sex in the City")

Ms. SARAH JESSICA PARKER (Actress) (as Carrie Bradshaw): Later that day, I got to thinking about fairytales...

SIMON: The National Museum of American History is being renovated, so for the next year and a half more than 150 artifacts of Americana will be moved into a temporary display at the Air and Space Museum, including the top hat Abraham Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, the light bulb Thomas Edison used to demonstrate incandescent light, and the most famous green of all time...

Unidentified Man (Actor): (as Kermit the Frog) Greetings. Kermit the Frog here.

SIMON: The newest acquisitions include a piece of New Orleans's London Avenue Canal levy wall, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters last year.

The Treasures of American History gallery will be filled with artifacts that are signs of American identity, innovation, and sometimes national challenge. Two special guests helped unveil the exhibit.

Mr. JERRY MAREN (Actor): Howdy folks. The Lollipop Kid from the Wizard of Oz is here.

SIMON: Jerry Maren and Ruth Duccini starred as Munchkins in the 1938 film. This week they were reunited with Dorothy's ruby slippers, the scarecrow costume worn by Ray Bolger, the Technicolor camera used in the production, and a page of script that contains a famous line.

(Soundbite of movie "The Wizard of Oz")

Ms. JUDY GARLAND (Actress): (as Dorothy) Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

SIMON: Ruth Duccini moved to Los Angeles during World War II to play the role of Rosie the Riveter at Douglass Aircraft.

Ms. RUTH DUCCINI (Actress): I worked on the inner wing of the C54 (unintelligible) warplane. I could get in those places where the bigger people couldn't get in. And they - actually they hired several of the little people. I was actually bucking rivets. At that time there would buck the rivets. You'd sit on one side with a heavy bar and they'd shoot the rivets.

SIMON: Ms. Duccini now lives in Phoenix. Lollipop Kid Jerry Maren and his wife live in Los Angeles. Mr. Maren went on to play Buster Brown on TV and radio and Little Oscar, the man inside Oscar Mayer's Weinermobile.

Mr. MAREN: I like meeting the children. Especially from the people from the Midwest. They love us more than anything. Because the Wizard of Oz is their story. The girl who lives in the farm who wants to go investigate the rest of the world. You know, so...

SIMON: And at the gallery's opening this week, in between doling not autographs and posing for pictures, Jerry Maren told what made him famous the first time.

Mr. MAREN: The city council of Munchkinland designated me to be part of the welcoming committee when Dorothy landed on the yellow brick road. And when she landed on the yellow brick road, me and my two buddies come out of the crowd and welcomed her like this.

(Singing) I represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop. And in the name of the Lollipop Guild...

(Soundbite of movie "The Wizard of Oz")

CHORUS: (Singing) We wish to welcome you to Munchkinland.

SIMON: Okay, munchkins, this is NPR News.

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