History for the Rest of Us

Peanuts

Peanuts

May 14, 2014

On October 2, 1950, one of, if not the greatest, cartoon cartoon characters of all time was born. Charlie Brown, the blockhead created by Charles M. Schulz made his first appearance in the comic strip Peanuts on that date. Peanuts had, at its peak, a readership of 355 million. The strip included memorable characters like Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock, Sally, and Peppermint Patty. Nearly 50 years later, on February 13, 2000, Charlie would make his final appearance – one day after the death of his creator Mr. Schulz.

The Final Strip:

Last Peanuts Comic Strip

The last Peanuts Comic Strip featuring some memorable imagery of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang, along with a note from Charles Schulz to his readers.

Most Memorable Characters:

Charlie Brown
Charlie was the product of Charles M. Schulz’s formative years. Charlie, despite his numerous failures is always determined to try his best regardless of the outcomes. For example, how many times did he try to kick that football that Lucy was ‘holding’ for him?

Snoopy
Charlie Brown’s dog was quite the opposite of Charlie. Confident and self-assured his vivid imagination led him to believe he was a World War I Flying Ace who was often flying his ‘Sopwith Camel’ (doghouse) in pursuit of the Red Baron. Snoopy had six siblings, five of which made appearances in the strip (Andy, Olaf, Marbles, Spike, and his sister Belle).

Lucy
Lucy van Pelt first appeared on March 3, 1952 and was typically the rock in Charlie Brown’s shoe. She was smug, highly confident, crabby, bossy, and full of advice – as demonstrated by the sign on her booth ‘The doctor is “in”‘. She was in love with piano-playing Schroeder who barely gave her the time of day. She also hated being licked by Snoopy, who seemed to relish licking her.

The Peanuts Gang

The Peanuts Gang – from left to right – Franklin, Woodstock, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Pattie, and Sally

Linus
Famous for his ‘security blanket’, Linus was the philosophical younger brother of Lucy who first appeared on September 19, 1952. He was Charlie’s most loyal friend, since Snoopy never filled the roll of being ‘Man’s best friend’ (a point Charlie would sarcastically refer to from time to time).

Sally
Sally was Charlie Brown’s ever-questioning little sister who had a crush on blanket-toting Linus. She first appeared in the strip on August 23, 1959.

Woodstock
Snoopy’s sidekick Woodstock made his first appearance in the strip in 1967 and received his name in 1970 – being named after the Woodstock music festival. He chirped in a language only Snoopy understood and was often seen helping Snoopy with his adventures – such as providing mechanical help with the ‘Sopwith Camel’.

Peppermint Patty
Peppermint was an assertive, athletic girl who always referred to Charlie as ‘Chuck’. She was easily recognized with her freckled-face, sandals, and side-kick Marcie who referred to her as ‘Sir’. Peppermint was also unique in the way she often complimented Charlie.

Franklin
Franklin first appeared on July 31, 1968. He was a quiet friend and confidant to Charlie. He went to the same school as Peppermint Pattie and Marcie but would often visit Charlie.

The Red-Haired Girl
The Red-Haired Girl was Charlie’s dream girl. She made just a single appearance in the strip in 1998 as a silhouette)

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