This Day in Pop Culture for February 13

1979: First Patent Granted for Baldness Remedy

After centuries of snake oils salesmen promising men a cure for baldness, it wasn’t until this day in 1979 for a patent to be granted. But the story begins back a lot earlier. In the 1950’s, the Upjohn Company (now owned by Pfizer) was working on a treatment to cure ulcers, but the compound used failed in that regard. Variations of that compound were created, and one called minoxidil showed promise as a cure for hypertension. At the University of Colorado’s medical school, a study of the drug was done under the care of Dr. Charles A. Chidsey who found that patients taking the drug began to grow extra hair on their bodies. Chidsey asked his colleague, Dr. Kahn for advice who then began his own experiments with the drug with his assistant, Dr. Grant. They too found similar results. The pair went to the headquarters of Upjohn on December 10, 1971, saying that they had discovered a “gold mine” and strongly suggested that they receive a 2-4% stake in the sale of all products containing a topical minoxidil. While the executives did not agree to such a deal, they filed a patent for the drug naming Dr. Chidsey as the only inventor since he was the first to report his findings about hair growth. The next year, Dr. Kahn and Dr. Grant discovered the patent application and disputed the patent. A financial settlement was reached, with all three doctors receiving substantial royalties. Upjohn developed the product Rogaine for the market launch, which the F.D.A. approved in 1988. The patent expired in 1996, allowing the product to be sold over the counter under other brand names. (Image: Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay)

2000: Charles Schulz’s Last Peanuts Comic

On this day in 2000, Charles Schulz’s last Peanuts comic appeared in Sunday papers – one day after he passed away. In it he wrote: “Dear Friends, I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost 50 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…”

2020: Sid & Marty Krofft Earn a Gold Star

On the day before Valentines Day in 2020, Sid and Marty Krofft, creators of H.R. Fufunstuf received a love letter of their own in the form of a star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Funko store. David Arquette, Beverly D’Angelo, three of the Brady Bunch Kids (Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen and Maureen McCormick) and Greg Garcia were on hand at the presentation of the 2,687th star honoring these two brothers who at ages 91 (Sid) and 84 (Marty) are still hard at work with children’s programming.

Movies Released

  • 50 First Dates (2004)
  • Cabaret (1972)
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
  • Sphere (1998)
  • The Last Five Years (2015)
  • The Wedding Singer (1998)
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

TV Series Debuts

  • Bel-Air (2022)
  • Kick Butowski: Suburban Daredevil (2010)
  • Love in Blind (2020)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1923: Chuck Yeager (pilot)
  • 1933: Kim Novak (actress)
  • 1942: Peter Tork (singer)
  • 1944: Stockard Channing (actress)
  • 1944: Jerry Springer (TV host)
  • 1950: Peter Gabriel (singer)

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