1950: The First ‘Peanuts’ Comic Strip
The very first Peanuts comic strip was printed on this day in 1950 premiering in nine newspapers. It featured Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty. (Most people are unfamiliar with these two characters and they all but disappeared in a short amount of time.) Over the years, the daily comic was printed in over 2,600 newspapers and translated into 21 different languages. Original strips continued until February 13, 2000 and all were hand-drawn by the strip’s creator, Charles Schulz.
1890: Groucho Marx is Born
It was on this day in 1890 in Manhattan that Julius “Groucho” Marx was born, the middle child of five brothers. Julius had wanted to become a doctor, but he had to drop out of school at the age of 12 to help the family earn money. However, he was strong reader which helped make up his lack of formal education. In 1905, he became part of the Gene Leroy Trio performing at the Ramona Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan and four years later, his mother grouped Julius and his brothers Milton and Arthur along with Lou Levy to form The Four Nightingales. The group traveled across the U.S., but after a rather poor performance in Nacogdoches, Texas, they began to share a few jokes which to their surprise got a great response from the audience. They changed their name to the Marx Brothers focusing on comedy rather than singing. Groucho’s first movie was a silent film created in 1921. It was never released and it took another ten years before his next film (The Cocoanuts) was released. Later in 1947, Groucho hosted the game show, You Bet Your Life for ABC radio. Though the show was successful, it jumped from ABC to CBS to NBC. By 1950, the show appeared on both radio and TV. The radio show ended in 1960 and the TV show followed the next year. Groucho married three times (all of them ending in divorce) and had three children. He passed away on June 22, 1977 at the age of 86.
- 1897: Bud Abbott (comedian)
- 1915: Chuck Williams (founder of Williams-Sonoma)
- 1938: Rex Reed (film critic)
- 1948: Donna Karan (fashion designer)
- 1949: Annie Leibovitz (photographer)
- 1951: Sting (singer)
- 1970: Kelly Ripa (talk show host)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.