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Grave of Hildred Olson.

Grave of the Shortest Munchkin

Field review by the editors.

Dassel, Minnesota

Of all the Munchkins in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the shortest was Hildred Olson of Dassel, only 36 inches tall. She did not have a speaking part, but her diminutiveness makes her easy to spot among the 120 other singing, dancing Munchkins in Munchkinland.

However, when Hildred died in 1958 the film had been mostly forgotten. Her obituary in the local newspaper didn't even mention it, nor did her tiny headstone in the town cemetery.

The year after her death, however, CBS began annual broadcasts of the movie on tv. New generations were exposed to the Wizard of Oz, and it eventually became one of the best-known movies on the planet.

A volunteer at the Dassel History Center came across Hildred's story by accident in 2021, and started a campaign to give her a proper memorial. It arrived and was placed on her grave in Spring 2023: a polished black granite stone with an etched likeness of Hildred in her Wizard of Oz costume. Like Hildred, it is exactly 36 inches tall.

Grave of the Shortest Munchkin

Dassel Cemetery

990 1st St., Dassel, MN
Dassel Cemetery. From MN-4/1st St. turn east into the cemetery at the middle of its three entrances. Drive straight back and park just before the road bends left. The grave will be on the right, along the tree line, marked by a polished black tombstone.
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