Peanuts Through Time

Although Charles Schulz was first denied the publishing of his comic “L’il Folks” in 1947, he decided not to give up on his dream and kept pushing it. In 1950 Schulz dream came true and published his comic under the name that would become a culture sensation, the “Peanuts”. The “Peanuts” have had many Iconic characters in the past 65 years that it has been published all to better the experience for the audience. The addition of the original characters wasn’t just for a plot change or a fans demand for more characters. Schulz drew his inspiration to add new characters due to significant events that occurred while the comic was being made. An example of an event influencing the series was the death of the famous civil rights activist and leader Martin Luther King Jr. On July 31, 1968 the first African American peanut would be introduced and his name was Franklin. Snoopy’s yellow little Buddy was first named Woodstock in 1970’s after the famous music festival that had happened the year before even though he was first introduced in 1967 for the firs time.

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Franklin

One of the biggest influences that the peanuts had on society was in the Apollo 10 mission, which was a basically the dress rehearsal for the first moon landing. The Command and Lunar modules were named after Charlie Brown and Snoopy, who can be considered to be most popular characters in the series. Since their names were used so much that these two characters became semi-official mascots for the mission. Schulz would also go on to draw some special mission-related artwork for NASA. Snoopy and Charlie Brown then would go on a mission to the moon in 1969 thanks to their relationship with NASA.

 

From having TV special for almost every holiday, to their influence in space travel, the “Peanuts” have had some sort influence with the way culture was shaped around them. Even today people young and old look forward to that “Peanuts” Thanksgiving special or just get excited to watch the giant Snoopy Float during the Macy’s day parade, not because of what they have done, but for the representation to the masses. Emotions such as happiness or excitement from new or old memories spark these good feelings in people and that reaction is what influenced people at NASA to use those iconic characters names in such a big moment in time. That is why the “Peanuts” have done so much in their 65 years thus far.

 

Sources:

  1. http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2022745,00.html
  2. http://www.peanuts.com/characters/woodstock/#.VklekXarS01
  3. http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1967/04/04
  4. http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/mirrors/images/images/pao/AS10/10075138.jpg
  5. https://classes.lt.unt.edu/Fall_2013/LTEC_3260_020/jnk0030/assign5/franklin.html
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