History Podcasts

9 Things You Might Not Know About “Peanuts”

9 Things You Might Not Know About “Peanuts”

1. Schulz’s lifelong ambition was to be a cartoonist.
A Minnesota-born barber’s son, Schulz dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from a young age. He had a less-than-distinguished academic record, but outside the classroom he drew constantly and read newspaper comic strips with his dad. When Schulz was 15, he published his first drawing, a picture of his dog, who later served as the inspiration for Snoopy. Following his high school graduation in 1940, he worked odd jobs and submitted cartoons for publication in magazines. However, Schulz received “nothing but rejection slips,” as he later noted.

2. Schulz wasn’t a fan of the name Peanuts.
In 1947, one of Schulz’s local newspapers, the St. Paul Pioneer, started publishing a weekly comic panel he’d created called “Li’l Folks,” which featured the forerunners of the Peanuts characters. In 1950, Schulz sold “Li’l Folks” to the United Feature Syndicate after being turned down by other syndication companies. Due to worries about potential copyright infringement, the syndicate opted to rechristen Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts, likely after the Peanut Gallery where the live audience of kids sat on “The Howdy Doody Show.” Even after Peanuts became hugely successful, Schulz said he never liked the name and wanted to call the strip “Good Old Charlie Brown.”

3. The strip wasn’t an instant hit.
When Peanuts made its October 1950 debut, it was published in seven U.S. newspapers. That first year, the comic strip came in last place in the New York World Telegram’s reader survey of cartoons; however, a book of Peanuts reprints helped the strip gain a larger audience. Eventually, the strip was syndicated to more than 2,600 newspapers around the globe and read by more than 350 million people in 75 countries. Schulz was also named Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. In 1958, the first plastic toy dolls of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and other Peanuts characters were produced, launching a massive flow of Peanuts merchandise ranging from greeting cards to pajamas. By 1999, some 20,000 different new products featuring members of the Peanuts gang were being marketed every year.

4. Many of the Peanuts characters were inspired by real people and events.
Snoopy was one of Schulz’s earliest Peanuts characters, appearing for the first time on October 4, 1950, two days after the comic strip’s debut. Schulz loosely based Snoopy on a black-and-white dog named Spike he had as a teenager. The cartoonist originally planned to call his cartoon dog Sniffy, but shortly before the comic strip launched Schulz was passing a newsstand and noticed a comic magazine featuring a dog with the same name. Now in need of a new name, Schulz remembered his mother’s suggestion that the family should name their next dog “Snoopy.”

After serving in World War II, Schulz worked as an instructor at the Minneapolis correspondence school where he’d taken art classes as a teen. It was there where he befriended Charlie Brown, whose name would later become that of his main character. Also while employed at the school, Schulz became romantically involved with a redhead named Donna Johnson, who worked in the accounting department. She eventually rejected him for another man, leaving Schulz crushed. However, the experience inspired the cartoonist to develop a character called the Little Red-Haired Girl, Charlie Brown’s unrequited love.

In 1968, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Schulz introduced his comic strip’s first black character, Franklin, whose father was a soldier in the Vietnam War. Another character, a yellow bird called Woodstock, was named for the 1969 landmark music festival.

5. TV execs thought “A Charlie Brown Christmas” would flop.
Network executives expected the Christmas special to be shown once on TV and then disappear. Their pessimism stemmed from various concerns. The special casted children to play the voices of the characters, many of whom lacked professional acting experience, and included a monologue for Linus in which he quotes the Bible. They also felt the lack of a laugh track and the show’s jazz soundtrack contributed to the overall slow-paced storytelling. Instead, when the program premiered on December 9, 1965, it drew a large audience. It later won an Emmy award and became one of the longest-running holiday specials of all time.

6. Snoopy went to space.
Following the 1967 Apollo 1 fire disaster, NASA officials contacted Charles Schulz to use Snoopy as their safety mascot. Schulz helped design a pin for the Silver Snoopy award, which was presented to aerospace workers for outstanding contributions toward safer spaceflight operations. Later, during the Apollo 10 mission (which served as the dress rehearsal for the historic Apollo 11 moon landing), NASA dubbed the lunar module “Snoopy” and the command module “Charlie Brown.”

7. Schulz was a World War II veteran.
During the war, Schulz was drafted into the Army and assigned to the 20th Armored Infantry Division. He trained as a machine gunner and was sent to Germany toward the end of the conflict; his division helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. Schulz later commemorated Veteran’s Day in Peanuts and referenced fellow vets such as Bill Mauldin, who became famous for his cartoons featuring U.S. troops. Schulz also honored the anniversary of D-Day in Peanuts and was involved in planning the National D-Day Memorial in Virginia. He once said, “I think any sensible person with a grasp of history would have to admit that D-Day was the most important day of our century.”

8. The Peanuts creator died one day before his final Sunday comic strip appeared.
In December 1999, after being diagnosed with colon cancer, Schulz announced he would retire. On February 12, 2000, the 77-year-old cartoonist died at his home in Santa Rosa, California, the day before his last Sunday Peanuts strip appeared in newspapers. Schulz had stipulated in his syndicate contract that no one else could take over the comic strip he’d drawn for nearly half a century. In all, Schulz produced 17,897 Peanuts strips: 15,391 daily strips and 2,506 Sunday strips.

9. There’s a museum devoted to all things Peanuts.
In 2002, the Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center opened in Sonoma County, California, where the cartoonist lived and worked for four decades. Among the museum’s collection of Peanuts-related artwork, letters and photographs are a recreation of Schulz’s work studio and a life-size wrapped Snoopy doghouse by the artist Christo. Numerous other museums, including the Louvre and the Smithsonian, have hosted Peanuts-themed exhibits. In 2016, the Snoopy Museum Tokyo is slated to open in Japan.

10 Fruits, Nuts, And Vegetables You Did Not Know Were Man-Made

Believe it or not, some of the popular fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat today are man-made hybrids. They were created in laboratories through selective breeding, a process whereby only plants with favorable traits are replanted. That said, there have been rare instances where insects were responsible for creating the hybrid plants through cross-pollination.

Of course, these insects would never have been able to cross-pollinate the plants if humans hadn&rsquot planted at least one of them in the area. Most of the entries on this list are surprising because the majority are fruits, nuts, and vegetables that we consider to be natural.

16 Surprising Facts about George Washington Carver

February is Black History Month and today we are celebrating George Washington Carver, &ldquoThe Father of the Peanut Industry.&rdquo Carver is known for his hundreds of peanut inventions, but we wanted to share a few interesting facts about George Washington Carver that you may not have known. You can also find resources for teachers here.

  1. Most people assume that Carver was born in Alabama but he was actually born in Diamond Grove, Missouri before the Civil War.
  2. Before sustainability was a pop culture topic, Carver promoted responsible farming practices, like planting peanuts in rotation with cotton since peanuts add nutrients to the soil.
  3. George Washington Carver was the first African American to enroll at Iowa State University. He later received his bachelor&rsquos and master&rsquos degrees from there.
  4. After Carver received his master&rsquos degree Booker T. Washington offered him a job at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama to serve as the Director of the Agriculture Department at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School.
  5. The George Washington Carver Museum in Tuskegee, Alabama, has a nutrition trail that features signs with nutritional facts and quotes from Carver.
  6. In 1916, Carver published a research bulletin, &ldquoHow to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption.&rdquo This bulletin includes several interesting ways to use peanuts like shampoo, mayonnaise, paints and coffee.
  7. Not only was Carver skilled in finding uses for peanuts, he also found new ways to use Alabama clay and sweet potatoes.
  8. Carver was one of the most prominent African Americans of his time and well-recognized for his work in plant research.
  9. George Washington Carver advised Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi on matters of agriculture and nutrition.
  10. George Washington Carver was the first African American to have a national park named after him. You can visit the park and his monument in Missouri.
  11. In addition to being an excellent scientist and inventor, Carver was also an accomplished pianist and painter. His artwork was exhibited at the World&rsquos Fair in 1893.
  12. About George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr. said, &ldquoFrom oppressive and crippling surroundings, George Washington Carver lifted his searching, creative mind to the ordinary peanut, and found therein extraordinary possibilities for goods and products unthinkable by minds of the past, and left for succeeding generations an inspiring example of how an individual could rise above the paralyzing conditions of circumstance.&rdquo
  13. Many people think that George Washington Carver invented peanut butter, but contrary to popular belief peanut butter was around centuries before he was around. He did help popularize the food.
  14. He helped Henry Ford make peanut rubber for cannons for World War II.
  15. George Washington Carver was born into slavery in around 1864. The conclusion of the Civil War in 1865 brought the end of slavery in Missouri. Carver&rsquos former slave owner Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, decided to keep George and his brother James at their home after that time, raising and educating the two boys. Susan taught George to read and write, since no local school would accept black students at the time.
  16. Carver published 44 practical bulletins for farmers.

For additional fun facts on George Washington Carver, please visit our website .

For additional teacher resources, click here.

Here are historic sites you can visit around the United States to learn about George Washington Carver:


Charles Schulz, 1987 interview with Frank Pauer in Dayton Daily News and Journal Herald Magazine [13]

Peanuts had its origin in Li'l Folks, a weekly panel cartoon that appeared in Schulz's hometown newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, from 1947 to 1950. Elementary details of the cartoon shared similarities to Peanuts. The name "Charlie Brown" was first used there. The series also had a dog that looked much like the early 1950s version of Snoopy. [14]

Schulz submitted his Li'l Folks cartoons to United Features Syndicate (UFS), who responded with interest. He visited the syndicate in New York City and presented a package of new comic strips he had worked on, rather than the panel cartoons he submitted. UFS found they preferred the comic strip. [13] [15] When UFS was preparing to syndicate the comic strip as Li'l Folk, that is Li'l Folks without an 's', Tack Knight who authored the retired 1930s comic strip Little Folks sought to claim exclusive rights to the title being used. Schulz argued in a letter to Knight that the contraction of Little to Li'l was intended to avoid this conflict, but conceded that the final decision would be for the syndicate. A different name for the comic strip became necessary after legal advice confirmed that Little Folks was a registered trademark. [16] Meanwhile, the production manager of UFS noted the popularity of the children's program Howdy Doody. The show featured an audience of children who were seated in the "Peanut Gallery", and were referred to as "Peanuts". This inspired the decided title that was forced upon Schulz, to his consternation. [17]

Schulz hated the title Peanuts, which remained a source of irritation to him throughout his life. He accused the production manager at UFS of not having even seen the comic strip before giving it a title, and said that the title would only make sense if there was a character named "Peanuts". [18] On the day it was syndicated, Schulz's friend visited a news stand in uptown Minneapolis and asked if there were any newspapers that carried Peanuts, to which the newsdealer replied, "No, and we don't have any with popcorn either" this event confirmed his fears concerning the title. [19] Whenever Schulz was asked what he did for a living, he would evade mentioning the title and say "I draw that comic strip with Snoopy in it, Charlie Brown and his dog". [20] In 1997 Schulz said that he had discussed changing the title to Charlie Brown on multiple occasions in the past, but found that it would ultimately cause problems with licensees who already incorporated the existing title into their products, with unnecessary expenses involved for all downstream licensees to change it. [21]

1950s Edit

The strip began as a daily strip on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers: Minneapolis Tribune, the hometown newspaper of Schulz The Washington Post Chicago Tribune The Denver Post The Seattle Times and two newspapers in Pennsylvania, Evening Chronicle (Allentown) and Globe-Times (Bethlehem). [22] The first strip was four panels long and showed Charlie Brown walking by two other young children, Shermy and Patty. Shermy lauds Charlie Brown as he walks by, but then tells Patty how he hates him in the final panel. Snoopy was also an early character in the strip, first appearing in the third strip, which ran on October 4. [23] Its first Sunday strip appeared January 6, 1952, in the half-page format, which was the only complete format for the entire life of the Sunday strip. Most of the other characters that eventually became regulars of the strip did not appear until later: Violet (February 1951), Schroeder (May 1951), Lucy (March 1952), Linus (September 1952), Pig-Pen (July 1954), Sally (August 1959), Frieda (March 1961), "Peppermint" Patty (August 1966), Franklin (July 1968) Woodstock (introduced April 1967 officially named June 1970), Marcie (July 1971), and Rerun (March 1973).

Schulz decided to produce all aspects of the strip himself from the script to the finished art and lettering. Schulz did, however, hire help to produce the comic book adaptations of Peanuts. [24] Thus, the strip was able to be presented with a unified tone, and Schulz was able to employ a minimalistic style. Backgrounds were generally not used, and when they were, Schulz's frazzled lines imbued them with a fraught, psychological appearance. This style has been described by art critic John Carlin as forcing "its readers to focus on subtle nuances rather than broad actions or sharp transitions." [25] Schulz held this belief all his life, reaffirming in 1994 the importance of crafting the strip himself: "This is not a crazy business about slinging ink. This is a deadly serious business." [26]

While the strip in its early years resembles its later form, there are significant differences. The art was cleaner, sleeker, and simpler, with thicker lines and short, squat characters. For example, in these early strips, Charlie Brown's famous round head is closer to the shape of an American football or rugby football. Most of the kids were initially fairly round-headed. As another example, all the characters (except Charlie Brown) had their mouths longer and had smaller eyes when they looked sideways.

1960s Edit

The 1960s is generally considered to be the "golden age" for Peanuts. [27] During this period, some of the strip's best-known themes and characters appeared, including Peppermint Patty, [28] Snoopy as the "World War One Flying Ace", [29] Frieda and her "naturally curly hair", [30] and Franklin. [31] Peanuts is remarkable for its deft social commentary, especially compared with other strips appearing in the 1950s and early 1960s. Schulz did not explicitly address racial and gender equality issues so much as assume them to be self-evident. Peppermint Patty's athletic skill and self-confidence are simply taken for granted, for example, as is Franklin's presence in a racially integrated school and neighborhood. (Franklin's creation occurred at least in part as a result of Schulz's 1968 correspondence with a socially progressive fan. [32] [33] ) The fact that Charlie Brown's baseball team had three girls on it was also at least ten years ahead of its time. The 1966 prime time television special Charlie Brown's All Stars! dealt with Charlie Brown refusing sponsorship of his team on the condition he fire the girls and Snoopy, because the league does not allow girls or dogs to play.

Schulz threw satirical barbs at any number of topics when he chose. His child and animal characters satirized the adult world. [34] Over the years he tackled everything from the Vietnam War to school dress codes to "New Math." One strip on May 20, 1962, even had an icon that stated "Defend Freedom, Buy US Savings Bonds." [35] In 1963 he added a little boy named "5" to the cast, [36] whose sisters were named "3" and "4," [37] and whose father had changed their family name to their ZIP Code, giving in to the way numbers were taking over people's identities. In 1958, a strip in which Snoopy tossed Linus into the air and boasted that he was the first dog ever to launch a human parodied the hype associated with Sputnik 2's launch of Laika the dog into space earlier that year. Another sequence lampooned Little Leagues and "organized" play when all the neighborhood kids join snowman-building leagues and criticize Charlie Brown when he insists on building his own snowmen without leagues or coaches.

Peanuts touched on religious themes on many occasions, especially during the 1960s. The classic television special A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965, features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible (Luke 2:8–14) to explain to Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about (in personal interviews, Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side). Because of the explicit religious material in A Charlie Brown Christmas, many have interpreted Schulz's work as having a distinct Christian theme, though the popular perspective has been to view the franchise through a secular lens. [38]

During the week of July 29, 1968, Schulz debuted the African-American character Franklin to the strip, at the urging of white Los Angeles schoolteacher Harriet Glickman. Though Schulz feared that adding a black character would be seen as patronizing to the African-American community, Glickman convinced him that the addition of Black characters could help normalize the idea of friendships between children of different ethnicities. Franklin appeared in a trio of strips set at a beach, in which he first gets Charlie Brown's beach ball from the water and subsequently helps him build a sand castle, during which he mentions that his father is in Vietnam. In this series, Franklin never occupies the same panel as Sally [32] [33] however, he would do so later in the strip.

1970s–1990s Edit

In 1975, the panel format was shortened slightly horizontally, and shortly thereafter the lettering became larger to compensate. Previously, the daily Peanuts strips were formatted in a four-panel "space saving" format beginning in the 1950s, with a few very rare eight-panel strips, that still fit into the four-panel mold. Beginning on Leap Day in 1988, Schulz abandoned the four-panel format in favor of three-panel dailies and occasionally used the entire length of the strip as one panel, partly for experimentation, but also to combat the dwindling size of the comics page. [ citation needed ]

Schulz drew the strip for nearly 50 years, with no assistants, even in the lettering and coloring process. [39]

In the late 1970s, during Schulz's negotiations with United Feature Syndicate over a new contract, syndicate president William C. Payette hired superhero comic artist Al Plastino to draw a backlog of Peanuts strips to hold in reserve in case Schulz left the strip. When Schulz and the syndicate reached a successful agreement, United Media stored these unpublished strips, the existence of which eventually became public. [40] Plastino himself also claimed to have ghostwritten for Schulz while Schulz underwent heart surgery in 1983. [41]

In the 1980s and the 1990s, the strip remained the most popular comic in history, [42] even though other comics, such as Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes, rivaled Peanuts in popularity. Schulz continued to write the strip until announcing his retirement on December 14, 1999, due to his failing health.

2000: End of Peanuts Edit

The final daily original Peanuts comic strip was published on Monday, January 3, 2000. The strip contained a note to the readers of the strip from Schulz and a drawing of Snoopy, with his trusty typewriter, sitting atop his doghouse deep in thought. Beginning the next day, a rerun package premiered in papers that had elected to pick it up (see below). Although Schulz did not draw any daily strips that ran past January 3, he had drawn five Sunday strips that had yet to run. The first of these appeared six days after the last daily, on January 9.

On February 13, 2000, the day after Schulz's death, the last-ever new Peanuts strip ran in papers. Three panels long, it begins with Charlie Brown answering the phone with someone on the other end presumably asking for Snoopy. Charlie Brown responds with "No, I think he's writing." The next panel shows Snoopy sitting at his typewriter with the opening to a letter addressed to "Dear Friends". The final panel features a large blue sky background over which several drawings from past strips are placed. Underneath those drawings is a colorized version of Schulz's January 3 strip, with almost the same note he wrote to fans, which reads as follows:

Dear Friends,

I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost fifty years. It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip. My family does not wish "Peanuts" to be continued by anyone else, therefore I am announcing my retirement.
I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy . how can I ever forget them .

— Charles M. Schulz

Many other cartoonists paid tribute to Peanuts and Schulz by homages in their own strips, appearing on February 13, 2000, or in the week beforehand. [43] The comic was reprinted the day after that, but only had the farewell letter. After Peanuts ended, United Feature Syndicate began offering the newspapers that ran it a package of reprinted strips under the title Classic Peanuts. The syndicate limited the choices to either strips from the 1960s or from the 1990s, although a newspaper was also given the option to carry both reprint packages if it desired. All Sunday strips in the package, however, come from the 1960s.

Peanuts continues to be prevalent in multiple media through widespread syndication, the publication of The Complete Peanuts, the release of several new television specials (all of which Schulz had worked on, but had not finished, before his death), and Peanuts Motion Comics. Additionally, BOOM! Studios has published a series of comic books that feature new material by new writers and artists, although some of it is based on classic Schulz stories from decades past, as well as including some classic strips by Schulz, mostly Sunday color strips.

Universal Uclick's website, GoComics.com, announced on January 5, 2015 that they would be launching "Peanuts Begins", a feature rerunning the entire history of the strip from the beginning in colorized form. This was done to honor the 65th anniversary of the strip's debut. [44]

Charlie Brown Edit

Charlie Brown is a young boy. He is the main character, acting as the center of the strip's world and serving as an everyman. [45] [46] [47] While seen as decent, considerate, and reflective, he is also awkward, deeply sensitive, and said to suffer from an inferiority complex. Charlie Brown is a constant failure: he can never win a ballgame he can never successfully fly a kite. [46] [48] His sense of determination regardless of the certainty of failure can either be interpreted as self-defeating stubbornness, or admirable persistence. When he fails, however, he experiences pain and anguish through self-pity. [48] The journalist Christopher Caldwell observed this tension between Charlie Brown's negative and positive attitudes, stating: "What makes Charlie Brown such a rich character is that he's not purely a loser. The self-loathing that causes him so much anguish is decidedly not self-effacement. Charlie Brown is optimistic enough to think he can earn a sense of self-worth." [49] Schulz named Charlie Brown after a colleague of his while working at Art Instruction, whose full name was Charlie Francis Brown. [50]

Readers and critics have explored the question as to whether Schulz based Charlie Brown on himself. This question often carried the suggestion that the emotionally sensitive and depressed behaviour of Charlie Brown drew from Schulz's own life or childhood experiences. [51] [52] [53] Commenting on the tendency of these conclusions being drawn, Schulz said in a 1968 interview that "I think of myself as Charles Schulz. But if someone wants to believe I'm really Charlie Brown, well, it makes a good story." [54] He explained in another interview that the comic strip as a whole is a personal expression, and so it is impossible to avoid all the characters presenting aspects of his personality. [53] Biographer David Michaelis made a similar conclusion, describing Charlie Brown as simply representing Schulz's "wishy-washiness and determination". [55] Regardless, some profiles of Schulz confidently held that Charlie Brown was based on him. [56]

Snoopy Edit

Snoopy is a dog, who later in the development of the strip would be described as a beagle. [57] While generally behaving like a real dog and having a non-speaking role, he connects to readers through having human thoughts. [58] [59] He introduces fantasy elements to the strip by extending his identity through various alter egos. Many of these alter egos, such as a "World-Famous" attorney, surgeon or secret agent were seen only once or twice. [60] His character is a mixture of innocence and egotism he possesses childlike joy, while on occasion being somewhat selfish. [61] [62] He has an arrogant committent to his independence, but is often shown to be dependent on humans. [60] [61] Schulz was careful in balancing Snoopy's life between that of a real dog, and that of a fantastical character. [63] While the interior of Snoopy's doghouse is described in the strip as having such things as a library and a pool table and being adorned with paintings of Wyeth and Van Gogh, it was never shown: it would have demanded an inappropriate kind of suspension of disbelief from readers. [64]

Linus and Lucy Edit

Linus and Lucy are siblings Linus is the younger brother and Lucy is the older sister. [65]

Lucy is bossy, selfish and opinionated, and is used to deliver commentary on offence and honesty, as well as sarcasm. [66] [67] Schulz described Lucy as full of misdirected confidence, but having the virtue of being capable of cutting right down to the truth. [68] He said that Lucy is mean because it is funny, particularly because she is a girl: he posited that a boy being mean to girls would not be funny at all, describing a pattern in comic strip writing where it is comical when supposedly weak characters dominate supposedly strong characters. [69] Lucy at times acts as a psychiatrist and charges five cents for psychiatric advice to other characters (usually Charlie Brown) from her "psychiatric booth", a booth parodying the setup of a lemonade stand. [70] Lucy's role as a psychiatrist has attracted attention from real-life individuals in the field of psychology the psychiatrist Athar Yawar playfully identified various moments in the strip where her activities could be characterised as pursuing medical and scientific interests, commenting "Lucy is very much the modern doctor". [48]

Linus introduces intellectual, spiritual and reflective elements to the strip. He offers opinions on topics such as literature, art, science, politics and theology. He possesses a sense of morality and ethical judgment that enables him to navigate topics such as faith, intolerance, and depression. Schulz enjoyed the adaptability of his character, remarking he can be "very smart" as well as "dumb". [71] He has a tendency of expressing lofty or pompous ideas that are quickly rebuked. [66] He finds psychological security from thumb sucking and holding a blanket for comfort, referred to as his "security blanket". The idea of his security blanket originated from Schulz's own observation of his first three children, who carried around blankets. Schulz described Linus' blanket as "probably the single best thing that I ever thought of". He was proud of its versatility for visual humor in the strip, and with how the phrase "security blanket" entered the dictionary. [72] [73]

Peppermint Patty and Marcie Edit

Peppermint Patty and Marcie are two girls who are friends with each other. They attend a different school from Charlie Brown, on the other side of town, and so represent a slightly different social circle from the other characters. [74]

Peppermint Patty is a tomboy who is forthright, loyal, and has what Schulz described as a "devastating singleness of purpose". [75] She frequently misunderstands things, to the extent that it serves as the premise of many individual strips and stories in one story she prepares for a "skating" competition, only to learn with disastrous results that it is for roller skating and not ice skating. [76] She struggles at school and with her homework, and often falls asleep in school. The wife of Charles Schulz, Jean Schulz, suggested that this is the consequence of how Peppermint Patty's single father works late she stays awake at night waiting for him. In general, Charles Schulz imagined that some of her problems were from having an absent mother. [77]

Marcie is bookish, and a good student. [74] Schulz described her as relatively perceptive compared to other characters, stating that "she sees the truth in things". [75] The writer Laura Bradley identified her role as "the unassuming one with sage-like insights". [78]

Supporting characters Edit

In addition to the core cast, other characters appeared regularly for a majority of the strip's duration:

  • Sally Brown is the younger sister of Charlie Brown. She has a habit of fracturing the English language to comical effect. [79] She reacts negatively to school and homework due to dealing with dogmatic memorization and obeying ambiguous instructions. She otherwise confidently delivers speeches in oral exams, using wordplay and puns while framing her topics with theatrics and suspense. [80]
  • Schroeder is a boy who is fanatic about Beethoven. In this relatively innocent role, he serves as an outlet for the expressions of other characters. [81] He most recognizably appears in the strip playing music on his toy piano, [82][83] as the catcher on Charlie Brown's baseball team and the romantic foil to Lucy's unrequited affections.
  • Pig-Pen is a boy who is physically dirty, normally appearing with a cloud of dust surrounding him. Schulz acknowledged that the scope of his role is limited, but he continued to make appearances because of his popularity with readers. [84]
  • Franklin is a boy who was introduced in order to fulfill African American representation in the strip, by the suggestion of a reader. [citation needed] Since it was Schulz's intention to achieve this without being patronizing, he is a relatively normal character who mainly reacts to the oddness of other characters. [32]
  • Woodstock is a bird and Snoopy's friend. He entirely communicates through peeps, forcing readers to guess what he says. [85] Schulz said that Woodstock is aware that he is small and inconsequential, a role that serves as lighthearted existential commentary on coping with the much larger world. [86]
  • Spike is Snoopy's brother who lives alone in the California desert. [87]

Several early characters faded out of prominence during the strip's run. For example Shermy, Patty and Violet were core characters during the initial years of the strip. [88] [89] [90] By 1956, Patty and Violet's roles were described only as an extension to Lucy's, and Shermy, who was initially Charlie Brown's closest friend, was then described merely as "an extra little boy". [72] Similarly Frieda, a girl with "naturally curly hair", was introduced in 1962, but was already being phased out by the late 1960s after her comic value had seemed to have rapidly run its course and after 1975, she made only background appearances. [15] Conversely, Rerun, the youngest brother of Linus and Lucy, had only limited visibility after his introduction in 1973, but became a foreground character by the middle of the 1990s. [91]

Schulz received the National Cartoonists Society Humor Comic Strip Award for Peanuts in 1962, the Reuben Award in 1955 and 1964 (the first cartoonist to receive the honor twice), the Elzie Segar Award in 1980, and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. A Charlie Brown Christmas won a Peabody Award and an Emmy Peanuts cartoon specials have received a total of two Peabody Awards and four Emmys. For his work on the strip, Schulz has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (as does Snoopy) and a place in the William Randolph Hearst Cartoon Hall of Fame. Peanuts was featured on the cover of Time on April 9, 1965, with the accompanying article calling it "the leader of a refreshing new breed that takes an unprecedented interest in the basics of life." [92]

The strip was declared second in a list of the "greatest comics of the 20th century" commissioned by The Comics Journal in 1999. [93] The top-ranked comic was George Herriman's Krazy Kat, a strip Schulz admired (and in fact was among his biggest inspirations), and he accepted the ranking in good grace, to the point of agreeing with it. [94] In 2002 TV Guide declared Snoopy and Charlie Brown tied for 8th [95] in its list of the "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time", [96] published to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

Schulz was included in the touring exhibition "Masters of American Comics". His work was described as "psychologically complex," and his style as "perfectly in keeping with the style of its times." [25]

Despite the widespread acclaim Peanuts has received, some critics have alleged a decline in quality in the later years of its run, as Schulz frequently digressed from the more cerebral socio-psychological themes that characterized his earlier work in favor of lighter, more whimsical fare. For example, in an essay published in the New York Press at the time of the final daily strip in January 2000, "Against Snoopy," Christopher Caldwell argued that Snoopy, and the strip's increased focus on him in the 1970s, "went from being the strip's besetting artistic weakness to ruining it altogether". [27]

Robert L. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations in his lectures on the gospel, as explained in his book The Gospel According to Peanuts, the first of several he wrote on religion, Peanuts, and popular culture.

Giant helium balloons of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and Woodstock have been featured in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City since 1968. This was referenced in a 2008 Super Bowl XLII commercial for Coca-Cola, in which the Charlie Brown balloon snags a Coca-Cola bottle from two battling balloons (Underdog and Stewie Griffin).

Snoopy has been the personal safety mascot for NASA astronauts since 1968, [97] and NASA issues a Silver Snoopy award to its employees or contractors' employees who promote flight safety. The black-and-white communications cap carrying an audio headset worn since 1968 by the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle astronauts was commonly referred to as a Snoopy cap. [98]

The Apollo 10 lunar module's call sign was Snoopy, and the command module's call sign was Charlie Brown. [99] While not included in the mission logo, Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission. [100] [101] Charles Schulz drew an original picture of Charlie Brown in a spacesuit that was hidden aboard the craft to be found by the astronauts once they were in orbit. This drawing is now on display at the Kennedy Space Center.

The December 1997 issue of The Comics Journal featured an extensive collection of testimonials to Peanuts. Over 40 cartoonists, from mainstream newspaper cartoonists to underground, independent comic artists, shared reflections on the power and influence of Schulz's art. Gilbert Hernandez wrote, "Peanuts was and still is for me a revelation. It's mostly from Peanuts where I was inspired to create the village of Palomar in Love and Rockets. Schulz's characters, the humor, the insight . gush, gush, gush, bow, bow, bow, grovel, grovel, grovel . " Tom Batiuk wrote: "The influence of Charles Schulz on the craft of cartooning is so pervasive it is almost taken for granted." Batiuk also described the depth of emotion in Peanuts: "Just beneath the cheerful surface were vulnerabilities and anxieties that we all experienced, but were reluctant to acknowledge. By sharing those feelings with us, Schulz showed us a vital aspect of our common humanity, which is, it seems to me, the ultimate goal of great art." [102]

Cartoon tributes have appeared in other comic strips since Schulz's death in 2000 and are now displayed at the Charles Schulz Museum. [103] In May 2000, many cartoonists included a reference to Peanuts in their strips. Originally planned as a tribute to Schulz's retirement, after his death that February it became a tribute to his life and career. Similarly, on October 30, 2005, several comic strips again included references to Peanuts and specifically the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown television special.

Peanuts on Parade is St. Paul, Minnesota's tribute to Peanuts. [104] It began in 2000, with the placing of 101 five-foot-tall (1.5 m) statues of Snoopy throughout the city of Saint Paul. The statues were later auctioned at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. In 2001, there was "Charlie Brown Around Town", 2002 brought "Looking for Lucy", and in 2003, "Linus Blankets Saint Paul". [105] Permanent bronze statues of the Peanuts characters are found in Landmark Plaza in downtown St. Paul. [106]

A Peanuts World War I Flying Ace U.S. commemorative postage stamp was released on May 17, 2001. The value was 34 cents, first class. [107]

In 2001, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors renamed the Sonoma County Airport, located a few miles northwest of Santa Rosa, California, the Charles M. Schulz Airport in his honor. The airport's logo features Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace (goggles/scarf), taking to the skies on top of his red doghouse (the Sopwith Camel). A bronze statue of Charlie Brown and Snoopy stands in Depot Park in downtown Santa Rosa. [108]

The Peanuts characters have been featured in many books over the years. [109] Some represented chronological reprints of the newspaper strip, while others were thematic collections such as Snoopy's Tennis Book, or collections of inspirational adages such as Happiness Is a Warm Puppy. Some single-story books were produced, such as Snoopy and the Red Baron. In addition, many of the animated television specials and feature films were adapted into book form.

The primary series of reprints was published by Rinehart & Company (later Holt, Rinehart and Winston) beginning in 1952, with the release of a collection simply titled Peanuts. This series, which presented the strips in rough chronological order (albeit with many strips omitted from each year) continued through the 1980s, after which reprint rights were handed off to various other publishers. Ballantine Books published the last original series of Peanuts reprints, including Peanuts 2000, which collected the final year of the strip's run.

Coinciding with these reprints were smaller paperback collections published by Fawcett Publications. Drawing material from the main reprints, this paperback series began with The Wonderful World of Peanuts in 1962 and continued through Lead On, Snoopy in 1992.

Charles Schulz had always resisted republication of the earliest Peanuts strips, as they did not reflect the characters as he eventually developed them. However, in 1997 he began talks with Fantagraphics Books to have the entire run of the strip, which would end up with 17,897 strips in total, published chronologically in book form. [110] In addition to the post-millennium Peanuts publications are BOOM! Studios restyling of the comics and activity books, and "First Appearances" series. Its content is produced by Peanuts Studio, subsequently an arm of Peanuts Worldwide LLC.

The Complete Peanuts Edit

The entire run of Peanuts, covering nearly 50 years of comic strips, was reprinted in Fantagraphics' The Complete Peanuts, a 26-volume set published over a 12-year period, consisting of two volumes per year published every May and October. The first volume (collecting strips from 1950 to 1952) was published in May 2004 the volume containing the final newspaper strips (including all the strips from 1999 and seven strips from 2000, along with the complete run of Li'l Folks [111] ) was published in May 2016, [112] with a twenty-sixth volume containing outside-the-daily-strip Peanuts material by Schulz appeared in the fall of that year. A companion series, titled Peanuts Every Sunday and presenting the complete Sunday strips in color (as the main Complete Peanuts books reproduce them in black and white only), was launched in December 2013 this series will run ten volumes, with the last expected to be published in 2022.

In addition, almost all Peanuts strips are now also authoritatively available online at GoComics.com (there are some strips missing from the digital archive). Peanuts strips were previously featured on Comics.com.

Anniversary books Edit

Several books have been released to commemorate key anniversaries of Peanuts:

  • 20th (1970) – Charlie Brown & Charlie Schulz — a tie-in with the TV documentary Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz that had aired May 22, 1969
  • 25th (1975) – Peanuts Jubilee
  • 30th (1980) – Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown
  • 30th (1980) – Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me
  • 35th (1985) – You Don't Look 35, Charlie Brown
  • 40th (1990) – Charles Schulz: 40 Years of Life & Art
  • 45th (1995) – Around the World in 45 Years
  • 50th (2000) – Peanuts: A Golden Celebration
  • 50th (2000) – 50 Years of Happiness: A Tribute to Charles Schulz
  • 60th (2009) – Celebrating Peanuts[113]

Animation Edit

The strip was first adapted into animation in The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. A TV documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1963), featured newly animated segments but this did not air due to not being able to find a channel willing to broadcast it. [114] It did however shape the team for A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), a half-hour Christmas special broadcast on CBS. It was met with extensive critical success. [115] It was the first of a set of Peanuts television specials (second counting the 1963 documentary), and forms a selection of holiday-themed specials which are aired annually in the US to the present day, [116] [117] including It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown [118] (1966), and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving [119] (1973). The animated specials were significant to the cultural impact of Peanuts they were remarked in 1972 as being "among the most consistently popular television specials" and "regularly have been in the top 10 in the ratings". [120] The specials were acquired by Apple TV+ in 2020. [121] The first feature-length film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, came in 1969, [122] and was one of four which were produced before the comic strip ended. A Saturday morning television series aired in 1983, each episode consisting of three or four segments dealing with plot lines from the strip. [123] An additional spin-off miniseries, This Is America, Charlie Brown, aired in 1988, exploring the history of the United States. [124]

The characters continue to be adapted into animation after the comic strip ended, with the latest television special Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown made in 2011. [125] A series of cartoon shorts premiered on iTunes, as Peanuts Motion Comics (2008), which directly lifted themes and plot lines from the strip. [126] In 2014, the French network France 3 debuted Peanuts by Schulz, a series of episodes each consisting of several roughly one-minute shorts bundled together. [127] The latest feature-length film, The Peanuts Movie, was released in 2015. [128] A series for the streaming service Apple TV+, Snoopy in Space, was released in 2019, [129] [130] and The Snoopy Show premiered in 2021. [131] [132] The characters make a guest appearance in the 2020 Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special. [133]

  • The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (1983–1985)
  • This Is America, Charlie Brown (1988–1989)
  • Peanuts Motion Comics (2008)
  • Peanuts (2014–2016)
  • Snoopy in Space (2019–present)
  • The Snoopy Show (2021–present)
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
  • Snoopy Come Home (1972)
  • Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
  • Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) (1980)
  • The Peanuts Movie (2015)

Music Edit

The album A Charlie Brown Christmas was recorded in 1965, the original soundtrack from the animated television special of the same name. [134] It was performed by the jazz trio led by pianist Vince Guaraldi. [135] It enjoys enduring critical, commercial, and cultural success employing a sombre and whimsical style, songs such as Christmas Time Is Here evoke a muted and quiet melody, [135] and arrangements such as the traditional carol O Tannenbaum improvised in a light, off-centre pace. [134] The album has continued popularity to the present day writer Chris Barton for the Los Angeles Times praised it in 2013 as "one of the most beloved holiday albums recorded", [134] Al Jazeera described it as "one of the most popular Christmas albums of all time". [136] The album was added to the national recording registry of the Library of Congress in 2012, being regarded as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important". [134]

The American rock band The Royal Guardsmen recorded four novelty songs from 1966 to 1968 as tributes to Snoopy. The first song was released as the single Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron (1966), based on the storyline of Snoopy sitting atop his dog house imagining himself as a World War I pilot, battling the German flying ace The Red Baron. The band would later release two more similar songs in 1967, Return of The Red Baron and Snoopy's Christmas. In 1968 they recorded Snoopy for President. [137]

Theater Edit

The characters first appeared in live stage production in 1967 with the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, scored by Clark Gesner. It is a collection of musical sketches, where the characters explore their identities and discover the feelings they have for each other. [138] The play was performed off-broadway, as well as later being performed as a live telecast on NBC. [120] The play continued to have other professional performances, in the London West End, and later a Broadway revival, while also being a popular choice of musical by amateur theater groups such as schools. [139]

A second musical premiered in 1975, Snoopy! The Musical, scored by Larry Grossman with lyrics by Hal Hackady. A sequel to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Snoopy! is also a collection of musical sketches, though focused on Snoopy. [138] It was first performed in San Francisco, [140] and eventually off-Broadway for 152 performances. [141]

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The Musical were both further adapted as animated television specials, respectively, in 1985 [142] and in 1988. [138] Going in the opposite direction from animation to live production, is the 2016 A Charlie Brown Christmas, based on the animated television special of the same name. It is considered a generally faithful readaptation, although it features the additional characters Woodstock and Peppermint Patty who did not exist in the strip when the original was made. [143]

Advertising and retail Edit

The characters from the comic have long been licensed for use on merchandise, the success of the comic strip helping to create a market for such items. In 1958, the Hungerford Plastics Corporation created a set of five vinyl dolls of the most famous characters (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and Schroeder) they expanded this line in 1961 to make the dolls slightly larger and included Sally and Pig-Pen. [144] An early example of the characters appearing in promotional material was strips and illustrations drawn by Schulz for the 1955 instructional booklet for the Kodak Brownie camera, The Brownie Book of Picture Taking. [145] Another early campaign was on behalf of Ford Motor Company magazine illustrations, brochure illustrations, and animated television spots featuring the characters were used to promote the Ford Falcon from January 1960 into 1964. [145] Schulz credited the Ford campaign as the first time where licensing the characters earned "a lot of money". However, he expressed a dislike of illustrating the adverts, describing it as "hard work" and would have preferred to dedicate equivalent effort to drawing the Sunday format strips. [146]

Some licensing relationships were maintained long-term. Hallmark began printing greetings cards and party goods featuring the characters in 1960. [147] In the late 1960s, Sanrio held the licensing rights in Japan for Snoopy. Sanrio is best known for Hello Kitty and its focus on the kawaii segment of the Japanese market. [148] Beginning in 1985, the characters were made mascots and served as spokespeople for the MetLife insurance company, with the intention to make the business "more friendly and approachable". [149] Schulz justified the licensing relationship with MetLife as necessary to financially support his philanthropic work, although refused to openly describe the exact details of the work he was financing. [150] In 2016 the 31-year licensing relationship with MetLife ended. [149]

In 1999 it was estimated that there were 20,000 different new products each year adorning a variety of licensed items, such as: clothing, plush toys of Snoopy, Thermos bottles, lunch boxes, picture frames, and music boxes. [147] The familiarity of the characters also proved lucrative for advertising material in both print and television, [151] appearing on products such as Dolly Madison snack cakes, Chex Mix snacks, Bounty paper towels, Kraft macaroni cheese and A&W Root Beer. [152]

The sheer extent to which the characters are used in licensed material is a subject of criticism against Schulz. Los Angeles Times pointed out that "some critics [say] Schulz was distracted by marketing demands, and his characters had become caricatures of themselves by shilling for Metropolitan Life Insurance, Dolly Madison cupcakes and others." [153] Schulz reasoned that his approach to licensing was in fact modest, stating "our [licensing] program is built upon characters who are figuratively alive" and "we're not simply stamping these characters out on the sides of products just to sell products" while also adding "Snoopy is so versatile he just seems to be able to fit into any role and it just works. It's not that we're out to clutter the market with products. In fact anyone saying we're overdoing it is way off base because actually we are underdoing it". [154]

Games Edit

The Peanuts characters have appeared in various video games, such as Snoopy in 1984 by Radarsoft, Snoopy: The Cool Computer Game by The Edge, Snoopy and the Red Baron for the Atari 2600, Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular (1989, Nintendo Entertainment System), Snoopy's Magic Show (1990, Game Boy), Snoopy Tennis (2001, Game Boy Color), Snoopy Concert which was released in 1995 and sold to the Japanese market for the Super NES, and in October 2006, a second game titled Snoopy vs. The Red Baron by Namco Bandai for the PlayStation 2. In July 2007, the Peanuts characters appeared in the Snoopy the Flying Ace mobile phone game by Namco Networks. In November 2015, Snoopy's Town Tale was launched for mobile by Pixowl, featuring the entire Peanuts gang along with Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

In 1980 (with a new edition published in 1990), the Funk & Wagnalls publishing house also produced a children's encyclopedia called the Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedia. The 15-volume set features many of the Peanuts characters.

In April 2002, The Peanuts Collectors Edition Monopoly board game was released by USAopoly. The game was dedicated to Schulz in memory of his passing.

Amusement parks Edit

In 1983, Knott's Berry Farm, in Southern California, was the first theme park to license the Peanuts characters, creating the first Camp Snoopy area and making Snoopy the park's mascot. Knott's expanded its operation in 1992 by building an indoor amusement park in the Mall of America, called Knott's Camp Snoopy. The Knott's theme parks were acquired by the national amusement park chain Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in 1997, which continued to operate Knott's Camp Snoopy park until the mall took over its operation in March 2005. [155] Cedar Fair had already licensed the Peanuts characters for use in 1992 as an atmosphere, [156] so its acquisition of Knott's Berry Farm did not alter the use of those characters.

Snoopy is currently the official mascot of all the Cedar Fair parks. It was previously used in all of the park logos but it has since been removed. Cedar Fair also operated a Camp Snoopy area at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Worlds of Fun, and Valleyfair featuring various Peanuts-themed attractions until 2011. There is still a Camp Snoopy area at Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm.

In 2008, Cedar Point introduced Planet Snoopy, a children's area where Peanuts Playground used to be. This area consists of family and children's rides relocated from Cedar Point's sister park Geauga Lake after its closing. The rides are inspired by Peanuts characters. The area also consists of a "Kids Only" restaurant called Joe Cool Cafe (there is a small menu for adults). In 2010, the Nickelodeon Central and Nickelodeon Universe areas in the former Paramount Parks (California's Great America, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Kings Island) were replaced by Planet Snoopy. In 2011, Cedar Fair announced it would also add Planet Snoopy to Valleyfair, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, and Worlds of Fun, replacing the Camp Snoopy areas. ″Carowinds″ Planet Snoopy was rethemed to Camp Snoopy. Planet Snoopy is now at every Cedar Fair parks beside Knott's Berry Farm, Carowinds, Michigan's Adventure.

Also, the Peanuts characters can be found at Universal Studios Japan in the Universal Wonderland section along with the characters from Sesame Street and Hello Kitty, [157] and in the Snoopy's World in Hong Kong.

Exhibition Edit

An exhibition titled Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts opened at Somerset House in London on 25 October 2018, running until 3 March 2019. The exhibition brought together Charles M. Schulz's original Peanuts cartoons with work from a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by the cartoon. [158]

On June 3, 2010, United Media sold all its Peanuts-related assets, including its strips and branding, to a new company, Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture of the Iconix Brand Group (which owned 80 percent) and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates (20 percent). In addition, United Media sold its United Media Licensing arm, which represents licensing for its other properties, to Peanuts Worldwide. [159] [160] United Feature Syndicate continued to syndicate the strip, until February 27, 2011, when Universal Uclick took over syndication, ending United Media's 60-plus-year stewardship of Peanuts. [161]

In May 2017, DHX Media announced that it would acquire Iconix's entertainment brands, including the 80% stake of Peanuts Worldwide and full rights to the Strawberry Shortcake brand, for $345 million. [162] DHX officially took control of the properties on June 30, 2017. [163]

On May 13, 2018, DHX announced it had reached a strategic agreement for Sony Music Entertainment Japan to acquire 49% of its 80% stake in Peanuts Worldwide for $185 million, with DHX holding a 41% stake and SMEJ owning 39%. (SMEJ's consumer products division has been a licensing agent for the Peanuts brand since 2010.) [164] The transaction was completed on July 23. [165] Two months after the sale's completion, DHX eliminated the rest of its debt by signing a five-year, multi-million-dollar agency agreement with CAA-GBG Global Brand Management Group (a brand management joint venture between Creative Artists Agency and Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group) to represent the Peanuts brand in China and the rest of Asia excluding Japan. [166] [167] [168]

9 Facts That Tell the True Story of Johnny Appleseed

A hero of American folklore, Johnny Appleseed was said to be a barefoot wanderer with a tin pot hat, and a sack of apples, so he might leave the start of trees everywhere he went. But unlike his tall tale colleagues Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Appleseed's story was based on a real man. His name was John Chapman, and his real life was far richer and more interesting than his legend. Here are nine things you might not have known about the man behind the myth, in honor of Johnny Appleseed Day.


Born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774, John Chapman grew up in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, in which his father served as a minuteman at the Battle of Bunker (Breeds) Hill and helped construct the defenses of New York against British invasion with George Washington. While his father would survive the war, Chapman's mother did not, dying in childbirth in July 1776. In 1780, Chapman's father returned home, and began to teach his son the farming trade.


Chapman developed as an orchardist and nurseryman, and by the early 1800s was working on his own. While his legend imagines him as a messy nomad, in reality, Chapman was much more pragmatic. Frontier law allowed people to lay claim to land through development of a permanent homestead. Such a claim could be made by planting 50 apple trees. So in his travels through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois, Chapman would plant swaths of seeds to begin an orchard, then sell them to settlers once the land had grown bountiful. This made him quite the land baron as he traversed 100,000 square miles of Midwestern wilderness and prairie. When he died on March 11, 1845 at the age of 70, he owned more than 1200 acres of land.


The apples that Chapman favored for planting were small and tart "spitters"—named for what you'd likely do if you took a bite of one. But this made them ideal for making hard cider and applejack. This was a far more valuable crop than edible apples. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan wrote:

Up until Prohibition, an apple grown in America was far less likely to be eaten than to wind up in a barrel of cider. In rural areas cider took the place of not only wine and beer but of coffee and tea, juice, and even water.

Where water could house dangerous bacteria, cider was safe. (And delicious.)


Chapman was often noted for his threadbare clothes and preference for bare feet. But these eccentricities may have been offerings to his faith, the Church of Swedenborg (also known as The New Church), a Christian denomination established in 1787. The second part of his signature look—that sack of apple seeds—was most definitely accurate. Because the Church forbade its members harming God's creation, Chapman became a vocal animal rights activist and vegetarian. He also refused to use grafting to create his orchards, believing that this growing technique physically hurt the source plants. So, he carried a large sack of seeds everywhere he traveled. However, his oft-depicted tin pot hat has not been authenticated.


Another strongly held belief of Chapman's was that marriage was not for him. As the Church of Swedenborg promoted abstinence for those unmarried, Chapman remained chaste his entire life, leaving no children to inherit his lands or curtail the tall tales that sprouted like his trees did.


Though some say Chapman had picked up his nickname by 1806, it wasn't until after his death in 1845 that the legend of Johnny Appleseed really took off. Considering his distinctive look, uncommon views, and contribution to the settling of the frontier, it's little wonder his legend proved so powerful. Of course, over the years he was made to seem less entrepreneurial and the use of his apples was played down as they made their way into children's books and this Disney cartoon:


By the time the U.S. government outlawed alcohol in 1920, Chapman had become an American folk hero. But this didn't stop the axes of FBI agents who mercilessly tore down orchards to prevent the making of homemade hooch. Aside from slaughtering Chapman's trees, this also nearly killed America's connection to hard cider. The beverage rooted deep in our history has only recently seen a resurgence in popularity.


Nova, Ohio, is home to a 176-year-old tree, the last known to be planted by Johnny Appleseed himself. It grows tart green apples, which are now used for applesauce and baking in addition to cider making. While Chapman might be glad to see his seeds still bearing fruit, he'd likely be sad to hear this tree is a noted bud source for grafting new apple trees.


Pollan credits Chapman's preference for seeds over grafting for creating not only varieties like the delicious and golden delicious, but also the "hardy American apple." Since apples that are grafted are the same as the parent tree, they don’t change. But by forgoing grafting, Johnny created the conditions for apple trees to adapt and thrive in their new world home.

"It was the seeds, and the cider, that give the apple the opportunity to discover by trial and error the precise combination of traits required to prosper in the New World," Pollan wrote. "From Chapman's vast planting of nameless cider apple seeds came some of the great American cultivars of the 19th century."

9 common foods that cause allergies

Any time people eat, they come in contact with substances that could trigger allergic reactions. Although people can have these reactions due to many foods, just a handful of foods cause most allergies.

Foods contain protein allergens. For the majority of people, these proteins do not trigger an allergic reaction. While many foods can cause an allergic reaction, only nine common foods cause 90% of allergies in the United States. These are:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • tree nuts like almonds or pecans
  • peanuts
  • wheat
  • soybeans
  • sesame

Children most commonly experience food allergies to peanuts, milk, soybean, tree nuts, eggs, and wheat, but many children stop being allergic to foods like milk, egg, wheat, and soy early in their childhood.

Adults with food allergies typically react to tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish. When a person thinks they have a food allergy but is not sure what food they are reacting to, an allergist can recommend a food allergy test. This can be done via either a skin or a blood test.

This article looks at the different types of common food allergies, the symptoms of each allergy, and what people can do to avoid a reaction. In severe cases, food allergies can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. A person experiencing this severe reaction should seek medical attention immediately. Whenever possible people should keep epinephrine on hand and use it to treat anaphylaxis immediately.

Like many food allergies, an egg allergy is common in childhood. The major proteins that cause an allergic reaction to eggs are ovomucoid, ovalbumin, and ovotransferrin.

Some people can consume baked or cooked eggs without getting an allergic reaction, but not others. Some people might also get an allergic reaction to eggs if they are allergic to the bird that laid the egg or its feathers. This is called bird-egg syndrome .

Egg allergy symptoms

Symptoms of an egg allergy can include vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion, wheezing, or cough. The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to eggs is to avoid eating eggs or food products that contain them.

An allergy to eggs is not the same as egg intolerance. Learn more about egg intolerance.

Adults are more likely to have an allergic reaction to fish and shellfish than children. Some people will get reactions from only certain types of fish, and others can react to all fish. The degree of reaction can vary depending on the type of fish that people eat.

Most people who have an allergy to fish will react to the protein allergen called parvalbumin. Cooking does not destroy these proteins, which means that people can have reactions to both cooked and raw fish.

Fish allergy symptoms

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to fish can include a skin rash. People can also get a runny nose, sneezing, or symptoms of asthma. For people who are allergic to fish, avoiding fish and fish products is key.

&ldquoWhen our thoughts&mdashwhich bring actions&mdashare filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white, we are in a living hell. That is as real as hell will ever be.&rdquo

&ldquoIt is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.&rdquo

&ldquoI love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting system, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.&rdquo

&ldquoWhen you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.&rdquo

&ldquoLook about you. Take hold of the things that are here. Let them talk to you. You learn to talk to them.&rdquo

&ldquoFear of something is at the root of hate for others and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. Keep your thoughts free from hate, and you need have no fear from those who hate you.&rdquo

&ldquoWhile hate for our fellow man puts us in a living hell, holding good thoughts for them brings us an opposite state of living, one of happiness, success, peace. We are then in heaven.&rdquo

&ldquo[I]nstead of growing morose and despondent over opportunities either real or imaginary that are shut from us, let us rejoice at the many unexplored fields in which there is unlimited fame and fortune to the successful explorer and upon which there is no color line simply survival of the fittest.&rdquo

&ldquoOur creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good on this earth.&rdquo

&ldquoNature study is agriculture, and agriculture is nature study - if properly taught.&rdquo

&ldquoMore and more as we come closer and closer in touch with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various languages spoken by all forms of nature about us.&rdquo

&ldquoAs I worked on projects which fulfilled a real human need forces were working through me which amazed me. I would often go to sleep with an apparently insoluble problem. When I woke the answer was there.&rdquo

&ldquoWe get closer to God as we get more intimately and understandingly acquainted with the things he has created. I know of nothing more inspiring than that of making discoveries for one's self.&rdquo

&ldquo[A] great teacher, a great lecturer, a great inspirer of young men and old men.&rdquo

12 racist and offensive phrases that people still use all the time

As language evolves, we sometimes forget the offensive origins of certain words and phrases. Or we never knew them in the first place.

Many common terms and phrases are actually rooted in racist, sexist, or generally distasteful language. For example, the popular phrase "peanut gallery," typically used to reference hecklers, originated as a term to refer to those — usually Black people — who sat in the "cheapest" section of the Vaudeville theaters.

Similarly, people might not realize that the term "uppity," nowadays used generally to refer to a stuck-up or arrogant person, was commonly used to describe Black people that "didn't know their socioeconomic place."

As the nation enters a new age, new phrases should follow suit. Here are 12 popular phrases that you may want to rethink using in everyday conversation.

Marian R. Croak

In 2013, Marian Croak was inducted into Women in Technology International’s hall of fame, a move that recognizes her remarkable achievements in tech. Croak holds over 135 patents, primarily in voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), some in other areas. She has another 100 patents currently under review.

Today, Marian is an SVP at AT&T, serves as a mentor for women in AT&T labs, and sits on the board for the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Center.

You Might Want To Stop Using These Common Phrases

Have you ever heard a figure of speech and stopped wonder where it originated? I bet you weren't thinking that a prase like "long time no see" had a racist past — but this is just one of the six phrases you didn't know were racist that Franchesca Ramsey of MTV's Decoded breaks down in the latest installment of the web series. Each of the phrases explored are things that we still often say today — but we don't always know the history behind them, and it turns out that they all have racist undertones. It's an important reminder that subtle racism can sneak its way into our everyday lives without us even realizing it, and much of it goes back to with the language we unthinkingly use.

What's the big deal with these phrases? They're not just words language is powerful, whether you like it or not. "Language not only develops in conjunction with a society's historical, economic and political evolution it also reflects that society's attitudes and thinking. Language not only expresses ideas and concepts but actually shades thought," Robert B. Moore writes in Race, Class, and Gender: An Integrated Study. How we speak and what we choose to say speaks not only to us as individuals, but also to the broader cultural landscape in which we live.

You can scroll down to watch the full video, but in the meantime, let's start with three of the phrases from it. Do you use these ones regularly? If so, you might want to start eliminating them from your vocabulary.

1. "The Peanut Gallery"

As Ramsey puts it, the peanut gallery refers to some kind of unwanted disturbance it's often used to reference people engaging in behavior that's considered to be rude. So where does this phrase originate? In the 1920s, the peanut gallery actually referred to the back section of theaters, which were the only places that people of color were allowed to sit during the Jim Crow era. The reason the word "peanut" is used has to do with George Washington Carver: He's sometimes called "The Peanut Man" because of his ideas around doing crop rotation using peanuts. Although this may seem like a nice tribute, back in the day, scientists who were anything other than white weren't viewed favorably the phrase was meant to poke fun at the idea of people of color engaging in intellectualism. Peanuts were are still a frequently eaten snack in theaters, which also informed the reference.

2. "Long Time, No See"

We often say, "Long time, no see!" when we run into someone we haven't seen for a long time and want to express to them that we're happy to catch up with them. Unfortunately, though, "long time, no see," is part of what's called Pidgen English. Pidgen languages are simplified versions of languages that make communication easier, especially if you're new to speaking a language. A shortened version of something like, "I haven't seen you in a long time," the phrase "long time, no see" was actually historically used to mock indigenous peoples' patterns of speech.

3. "G*pped or G*psy"

You've probably said "G*pped" more than a few times and seen t-shirts at Urban Outfitters that have the word "G*psy" used as a seemingly glamorous term for someone who travels in high-style. You're probably wondering why I'm censoring these terms, but it turns out that they're actually racial slurs. Yep, for real.

Let's break it down a little to understand it better: G*pped means to "cheat or take advantage of someone" in today's time, but was originally a racial slur used in against Romani, a nomadic Eastern European group originally from India. They've been labeled as being deceitful throughout history, and this stereotype has often been used to justify discrimination and prejudice against them. G*psy, on the other hand, came about when the Romani emigrated to Europe and they were mistake for being Egyptians — thus the name.

And this isn't just a word you encounter in books as Ramsey points out, "the consequences of the g-word are still felt today." Romani still face real discrimination, so it's not a word to be taken lightly. We should be trying to dismantle prejudices, not further them — so let's take this word out of rotation.

To see the racist histories behind three more phrases, watch the full video below.


The Arachis genus is endemic to South America. [8] Cultivated peanuts (A. hypogaea) arose from a hybrid between two wild species of peanut, thought to be A. duranensis and A. ipaensis. [8] [9] [10] The initial hybrid would have been sterile, but spontaneous chromosome doubling restored its fertility, forming what is termed an amphidiploid or allotetraploid. [8] Genetic analysis suggests the hybridization may have occurred only once and gave rise to A. monticola, a wild form of peanut that occurs in a few limited locations in northwestern Argentina, or in southeastern Bolivia, where the peanut landraces with the most wild-like features are grown today. [11] and by artificial selection to A. hypogaea. [8] [9]

The process of domestication through artificial selection made A. hypogaea dramatically different from its wild relatives. The domesticated plants are bushier and more compact, and have a different pod structure and larger seeds. From this primary center of origin, cultivation spread and formed secondary and tertiary centers of diversity in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Over time, thousands of peanut landraces evolved these are classified into six botanical varieties and two subspecies (as listed in the peanut scientific classification table). Subspecies A. h. fastigiata types are more upright in their growth habit and have shorter crop cycles. Subspecies A. h. hypogaea types spread more on the ground and have longer crop cycles. [11]

The oldest known archeological remains of pods have been dated at about 7,600 years old, possibly a wild species that was in cultivation, or A. hypogaea in the early phase of domestication. [12] They were found in Peru, where dry climatic conditions are favorable for the preservation of organic material. Almost certainly, peanut cultivation antedated this at the center of origin where the climate is moister. Many pre-Columbian cultures, such as the Moche, depicted peanuts in their art. [13] Cultivation was well-established in Mesoamerica before the Spanish arrived. There, the conquistadors found the tlālcacahuatl (the plant's Nahuatl name) being offered for sale in the marketplace of Tenochtitlan. The peanut was later spread worldwide by European traders, and cultivation is now widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. In West Africa, it substantially replaced a crop plant from the same family, the Bambara groundnut, whose seed pods also develop underground. In Asia, it became an agricultural mainstay and this region is now the largest producer in the world. [14]

In the English-speaking world, peanut growing is most important in the United States. It was mainly a garden crop for much of the colonial period, before shifting to mostly animal feedstock until human consumption grew in the 1930s. [15] The United States Department of Agriculture initiated a program to encourage agricultural production and human consumption of peanuts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [15]

Peanut butter was developed in the 1880s and 1890s in the United States and Canada. [16]

The peanut is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 to 50 cm (12 to 20 in) tall. [15] As a legume, it belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae (also known as Leguminosae, and commonly known as the legume, bean, or pea family). [1] Like most other legumes, peanuts harbor symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules. [6]

Peanut fruits develop underground, an unusual feature known as geocarpy. [17] After fertilization, a short stalk at the base of the ovary (often termed a gynophore, but which actually appears to be part of the ovary itself) elongates to form a thread-like structure known as a "peg". This peg grows down into the soil, allowing the fruit to develop underground. [17] These pods (technically called legumes) are 3 to 7 centimetres (1 to 3 in) long, normally containing one to four seeds. [11] [15] The shell of the peanut fruit consists primarily mesocarp with several large veins traversing its length. [17]


Parts of the peanut include:

    - outer covering, in contact with dirt (two) - main edible part - brown paper-like covering of the edible part - embryonic root at the bottom of the cotyledon, which can be snapped off - embryonic shoot emerging from the top of the radicle

Peanuts grow best in light, sandy loam soil with a pH of 5.9–7. Their capacity to fix nitrogen means that, providing they nodulate properly, peanuts benefit little or not at all from nitrogen-containing fertilizer, [18] and they improve soil fertility. Therefore, they are valuable in crop rotations. Also, the yield of the peanut crop itself is increased in rotations, through reduced diseases, pests and weeds. For example, in Texas, peanuts in a three-year rotation with corn yield 50% more than nonrotated peanuts. [18] Adequate levels of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients are also necessary for good yields. [18] To develop well, peanuts need warm weather throughout the growing season. They can be grown with as little as 350 mm (14 in) of water, [19] but for best yields need at least 500 mm (20 in). [20] Depending on growing conditions and the cultivar of peanut, harvest is usually 90 to 130 days after planting for subspecies A. h. fastigiata types, and 120 to 150 days after planting for subspecies A. h. hypogaea types. [19] [21] [22] Subspecies A. h. hypogaea types yield more, and are usually preferred where the growing seasons are sufficiently long.

Peanut plants continue to produce flowers when pods are developing therefore even when they are ready for harvest, some pods are immature. In order to maximize yield, the timing of harvest is important. If it is too early, too many pods will be unripe if too late, the pods will snap off at the stalk, and will remain in the soil. [23] For harvesting, the entire plant, including most of the roots, is removed from the soil. [23] The pods are covered with a network of raised veins and are constricted between seeds.

The main yield limiting factors in semiarid regions are drought and high temperature stress. The stages of reproductive development prior to flowering, at flowering and at early pod development, are particularly sensitive to these constraints. Apart from N, P and K, other nutrient deficiencies causing significant yield losses are Ca, Fe and B. Biotic stresses mainly include pests, diseases and weeds. Among insects pests pod borers, aphids and mites are of importance. The most important diseases are leaf spots, rusts and the toxin-producing fungus Aspergillus. [24]

Harvesting occurs in two stages. [25] [ self-published source? ] In mechanized systems, a machine is used to cut off the main root of the peanut plant by cutting through the soil just below the level of the peanut pods. The machine lifts the "bush" from the ground and shakes it, then inverts the bush, leaving the plant upside down on the ground to keep the peanuts out of the soil. This allows the peanuts to dry slowly to a little less than a third of their original moisture level over a period of three to four days. Traditionally, peanuts were pulled and inverted by hand.

After the peanuts have dried sufficiently, they are threshed, removing the peanut pods from the rest of the bush. [23] It is particularly important that peanuts are dried properly and stored in dry conditions. If they are too high in moisture, or if storage conditions are poor, they may become infected by the mold fungus Aspergillus flavus. Many strains of this fungus release toxic and highly carcinogenic substances called aflatoxins.

There are many peanut cultivars grown around the world. The market classes grown in the United States are Spanish, Runner, Virginia, and Valencia. [26] Peanut production in the United States is divided into three major areas: the southeastern United States region which includes Alabama, Georgia, and Florida the southwestern United States region which includes New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas and the third region in the general eastern United States which includes Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. [26] In Georgia, Naomi Chapman Woodroof is responsible for developing the breeding program of peanuts resulting in a harvest almost five times greater. [27]

Certain cultivar groups are preferred for particular characteristics, such as differences in flavor, oil content, size, shape, and disease resistance. [25] Most peanuts marketed in the shell are of the Virginia type, along with some Valencias selected for large size and the attractive appearance of the shell. Spanish peanuts are used mostly for peanut candy, salted nuts, and peanut butter.

Spanish group

The small Spanish types are grown in South Africa, and in the southwestern and southeastern United States. Until 1940, 90% of the peanuts grown in the US state of Georgia were Spanish types, but the trend since then has been larger-seeded, higher-yielding, more disease-resistant cultivars. Spanish peanuts have a higher oil content than other types of peanuts. In the United States, the Spanish group is primarily grown in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. [26]

Cultivars of the Spanish group include 'Dixie Spanish', 'Improved Spanish 2B', 'GFA Spanish', 'Argentine', 'Spantex', 'Spanette', 'Shaffers Spanish', 'Natal Common (Spanish)', "White Kernel Varieties', 'Starr', 'Comet', 'Florispan', 'Spanhoma', 'Spancross', 'OLin', 'Tamspan 90', 'AT 9899–14', 'Spanco', 'Wilco I', 'GG 2', 'GG 4', 'TMV 2', and 'Tamnut 06'.

Runner group

Since 1940, the southeastern US region has seen a shift to production of Runner group peanuts. This shift is due to good flavor, better roasting characteristics and higher yields when compared to Spanish types, leading to food manufacturers' preference for the use in peanut butter and salted nuts. Georgia's production is now almost 100% Runner type. [25]

Cultivars of Runners include 'Southeastern Runner 56-15', 'Dixie Runner', 'Early Runner', 'Virginia Bunch 67', 'Bradford Runner', 'Egyptian Giant' (also known as 'Virginia Bunch' and 'Giant'), 'Rhodesian Spanish Bunch' (Valencia and Virginia Bunch), 'North Carolina Runner 56-15', 'Florunner', 'Virugard', 'Georgia Green', 'Tamrun 96', 'Flavor Runner 458', 'Tamrun OL01', 'Tamrun OL02' 'AT-120', 'Andru-93', 'Southern Runner', 'AT1-1', 'Georgia Brown', 'GK-7', and 'AT-108'.

Virginia group

The large-seeded Virginia group peanuts are grown in the US states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and parts of Georgia. They are increasing in popularity due to demand for large peanuts for processing, particularly for salting, confections, and roasting in the shells.

Virginia group peanuts are either bunch or running in growth habit. The bunch type is upright to spreading. It attains a height of 45 to 55 cm (18 to 22 in), and a spread of 70 to 80 cm (28 to 31 in), with 80 to 90 cm (31 to 35 in) rows that seldom cover the ground. The pods are borne within 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) of the base of the plant.

Cultivars of Virginia type peanuts include 'NC 7', 'NC 9', 'NC 10C', 'NC-V 11', 'VA 93B', 'NC 12C', 'VA-C 92R', 'Gregory', 'VA 98R', 'Perry', 'Wilson, 'Hull', 'AT VC-2' and' Shulamit'.

Valencia group

Valencia group peanuts are coarse, and they have heavy reddish stems and large foliage. In the United States, large commercial production is primarily in the South Plains of West Texas, and in eastern New Mexico near and south of Portales, but they are grown on a small scale elsewhere in the South as the best-flavored and preferred type for boiled peanuts. They are comparatively tall, reaching a height of 125 cm (49 in) and a spread of 75 cm (30 in). Peanut pods are borne on pegs arising from the main stem and the side branches. Most of the pods are clustered around the base of the plant, and only a few are found several inches away. Valencia types are three- to five-seeded and smooth, with no constriction of the shell between the seeds. Seeds are oval and tightly crowded into the pods. Typical seed weight is 0.4 to 0.5 g. This type is used heavily for sale roasted and salted in-shell peanuts, and for peanut butter. Varieties include 'Valencia A' and 'Valencia C'.

Tennessee Red and Tennessee White groups

These are alike, except for the color of the seed. Sometimes known also as Texas Red or White, the plants are similar to Valencia types, except the stems are green to greenish brown, and the pods are rough, irregular, and have a smaller proportion of kernels.

Peanut production, 2019
(millions of tonnes)
Country Production
China 17.5
India 6.7
Nigeria 4.4
Sudan 2.8
United States 2.5
World 48.8
Source: FAOSTAT, United Nations [14]

In 2019, world production of peanuts (reported as groundnuts in shells) was 49 million tonnes, a 7% increase over 2018 production. [14] China had 36% of global production, followed by India (14%) (table). Other significant producers were Nigeria, Sudan, and the United States. [14]