Annotations of The Complete Peanuts/Print version

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The creator of Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz, in 1956.

Since 2004, Fantagraphics Books has been republishing the complete run of the comic strip Peanuts in hardcover form, starting from the origin of the strip in October 1950.

Charles M. Schulz made frequent topical references within the strip to the events and popular culture of the time, which would have required no explanation for a contemporary reader. Some of these references are now rather obscure, and might not be understood by someone not versed in the popular culture of the period. These annotations aim to provide background for such references, and explain their significance.

Each chapter corresponds with a separate volume from the Fantagraphics series, corresponding to two years of the published strips. The original publication dates of the strips are given in addition to the page numbers of the collection, so this reference work can also be used by people with access to the original archives.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1950 to 1952 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2004. ISBN 156097589X

  • p. 9 (October 31, 1950). One of the games of marbles involves shooting one marble out of a ring with another.
  • p. 11 (November 7, 1950). Although Peanuts is famous for its complete absence of adults, they were occasionally seen and heard in the earliest years of the strip (see June 3, 1952).
  • p. 24 (December 21, 1950). First appearance of Charlie Brown's famous zig-zag striped shirt. (See p. 278, December 8, 1952, for the "negative" of this shirt.)
  • p. 30 (January 11, 1951). A filibuster is an attempt to delay the proceedings of a legislature. Shermy is stalling for time to get his homework done.
  • p. 46 (March 8, 1951). Patty is using a typewriter.
  • p. 49 (March 21, 1951). "Mad dog" refers to a dog with rabies. Rabid dogs are usually killed by local authorities (c.f. To Kill a Mockingbird).
  • p. 67 (May 23, 1951). "Second childhood" refers to mental impairment as a result of old age. It was a euphemism for such things as what we now know to be Alzheimer's disease.
  • p. 69 (May 30, 1951). First appearance of Schroeder.
  • p. 71 (June 4, 1951). In the early 20th century, people unhappy with the squalor and crime of big cities went "back to the soil" and became farmers. It was an attempt to re-connect with nature and enjoy "the simple life." What Charlie Brown was referring to was playing in his sandbox.
  • p. 79 (July 4, 1951). It is generally thought that the convention of a man walking nearest the curb is so that he and not the lady would be splashed by passing carriages or by someone above emptying a chamber pot.
  • p. 84 (July 21, 1951). In the early part of the 20th century, when a young lady went out on a date, she didn't need to bring any money since the man would pay for everything. But it was recommended that she carry some "mad money", in case the man did something that angered her (made her mad), so she could end the date and have her own money to take a street car or taxi home.
  • p. 91 (August 13, 1951). "Comic magazine" and "comic book" are used interchangeably throughout the early days of the strip, with the former eventually dropping out of use. (See p. 17, November 29, 1950 for the first use of "comic book".)
  • p. 93 (August 21, 1951). Neptune is the ancient Roman god of the seas.
  • p. 103 (September 24, 1951). This strip marks the beginning of the career of Schroeder as a pianist. Also, this is the first drawing of what would become one of the most famous Peanuts references: Schroeder on his toy piano. It is featured in a bronze Statue in Landmark Plaza in downtown Saint Paul, MN, and in a stained glass of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, NY.
  • p. 105 (October 2, 1951). Schroeder is playing the slow movement (Grave) from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 op. 13, "Pathetique."
  • p. 108 (October 13, 1951). In a less politically sensitive time (white) children would play "Cowboys and Indians," a game in which they would chase and pretend to shoot each other, with either imaginary guns—a child's index finger being the gun's barrel and the thumb the hammer (See Volume 2's August 7, 1954, p. 250, for Lucy's clever take on this "hand gun") -- or using toy weapons. (See p. 148, February 10, 1952, for a full-scale production of the game.)
  • p. 114 (November 1, 1951). Children in the United States used to ask for money or candy on Halloween. In the 21st century, it's become almost exclusively candy.
  • p. 124 (December 6, 1951). The proper technique for ice fishing is to cut a hole in the ice—which is what Charlie Brown does six days later in the December 13, 1951 strip, p. 126.
  • p. 125 (December 10, 1951). Someone else has drawn a picture of Charlie Brown on the sidewalk. He adds the legend "Don't Tread on Me" so that people won't scuff up his picture (scuffing him in effigy). The phrase "Don't Tread on Me" along with the image of a rattlesnake became popular during the American Revolution and is seen on the Gadsden flag. It remains a symbol of defiance against oppression.
  • p. 135 (January 12, 1952). Charlie Brown is "driving" a soapbox car, a car made of wooden boxes, with no motor, that only goes downhill due to gravity.
  • p. 136 (January 13, 1952). Alexander Graham Bell is generally credited with the invention of the telephone.
  • p. 137 (January 15, 1952). The expression "Born on the wrong side of the (railroad) tracks" means to be poor, but Charlie Brown is using it here to mean unlucky. The snow man was unlucky enough to be born where it's sunny (because it's melted him).
  • p. 140 (January 23, 1952). This musical piece is more commonly referred to as Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major. This is also the music for March 25 and April 14. A Hammer-Klavier (in correct German, Hammerklavier) is simply the German word for piano. Schulz lettered those German words in blackletter script, which was still in use in Germany at the time. (See also p. 206, June 24, 1952, below).
  • p. 146 (February 4, 1952). Albert Payson Terhune was the author of many stories and novels about dogs, most notably Lad, a Dog.
  • p. 148 (February 10, 1952). Charlie Brown is mis-singing Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home" (More commonly known by its first line, "Way down upon the Swanee River"). "Old Chisel Home Trail" is the Chisholm Trail, a cattle drive route from Texas to Kansas in the 19th Century.
  • p. 159 (March 7, 1952). Charlie Brown and Snoopy are playing William Tell, the legendary Swiss hero who shot an apple from his son's head with an arrow.
  • p. 160 (March 9, 1952). The joke is that in the three hours they played (a common length of time for a round of golf), they only made it as far as the 1st (of 18) holes.
  • p. 171 (April 3, 1952). Charlie Brown is delivering the traditional whistle of appreciation for feminine beauty (though it usually has two notes: WEEEET-WOOO), and Patty takes offense. Schroeder, being more musical, delivers a mini-concert to Violet and gets to walk off with her. It is the melody to "Traumerei" from Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood" for piano.
  • p. 179 (April 21, 1952). "Rubbers" is another term for galoshes.
  • p. 182 (April 29, 1952). Charlie Brown thinks they need him to play the card game bridge, which requires four people. (Six months later, p. 257, October 22, 1952, that is what he's needed for.)
  • p. 194 (May 27, 1952). Snoopy's first words in the strip, as opposed to "Smack Smack" (see p. 2,1 December 11, 1950, 2nd panel) and other animal noises.
  • p. 197 (June 3, 1952). The first time that adults (except for Beethoven) are seen in the strip, even if only on TV. (See Volume 2, pp. 215, 218, and 221 for whole crowds of adults as Lucy plays in a golf tournament.)
  • p. 201 (June 14, 1952). "Sweetmeats" is just another term for confectionery products, including candy.
  • p. 202 (June 15, 1952). Patty is misquoting William Congreve's line from his 1697 play The Mourning Bride: "Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast. . ."
  • p. 203 (June 17, 1952). "The Gay Nineties" refers to the economic expansion and rapid wealth gains experienced in parts of America in the 1890s. Likewise, "The Roaring Twenties" refers to American in the 1920s, a period of rapid social change and economic prosperity that only ended with The Great Depression.
  • p. 206 (June 25, 1952). Both 33 and 20 are terrible scores for any hole in golf.
  • p. 218 (July 21, 1952). Because he wrote about collies, these are almost certainly Albert Payson Terhune books again (see p. 146 above).
  • p. 225 (August 7, 1952). Schroeder is playing the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 op. 27 No. 2, "Moonlight."
  • p. 228 (August 15, 1952). A shutout is a game in which one team wins without allowing the opposing team to score at all. So, yes, their opponents having scored 63 runs, Charlie Brown's team has no chance of shutting them out.
  • p. 231 (August 22, 1952). Lucy is confusing checkers with the card game bridge, where a coup and grand coup are various sophisticated card plays. Charlie Brown doesn't appear to know the difference either. But he soon learns to play (See p. 257, below).
  • p. 243 (September 19, 1952). Linus's first appearance (although his name wouldn't be mentioned until September 22). Schulz: "[O]ne day I was doodling on a piece of paper and I drew this little character with some wild hair straggling down from the top of his head and I showed it to a friend of mine... whose name was Linus Maurer. For no reason at all I had written his name under it... [t]hen I thought, why not put this character in the strip and make him Lucy's brother?"[1]
  • p. 246 (September 25, 1952). Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from the New World. Daniel Boone was an 18th century American frontiersman and Indian-fighter.
  • p. 248 (October 1, 1952). Perfect pitch (also called absolute pitch) is ability to sing any individual note on command and/or recognize any individual note upon hearing it played. It is often thought to be a sign of musical genius. Charlie Brown is confusing it the pitching in baseball. Also the first instance of fourth-wall breakage in Peanuts.
  • p. 264 (November 7, 1952). The strip's first use of "fuss-budget", a term seldom seen outside of Peanuts. It means one who fusses over insignificant matters; a complainer.
  • p. 267 (November 15, 1952). Note the use of "deep focus" on both Lucy and the telephone. Quite dramatic. Right out of Citizen Kane, which the strip would refer to frequently in later years.
  • p. 268 (November 16, 1952). The first time Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown.
  • p. 278 (December 9, 1952). Schroeder is playing the Prelude in C major from Book One of J. S. Bach's "Well Tempered Clavier."
  • p. 282 (December 18, 1952). Carnegie Hall is one of the finest American venues for the performance of classical music. In the 1950s and 60s especially it was considered the height of musical accomplishment to perform there.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1953 to 1954 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2004. ISBN 1560976144

  • p. 11 (January 25, 1953). Schroeder is playing the Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat, op. 106 "Hammerklavier" by Beethoven. This appears again on p. 110 (September 13, 1953).
  • p. 52 (May 1, 1953). Schroeder is singing from the 4th movement of the Symphony No. 9 in d, Op. 125 "Choral" by Beethoven.
  • p. 122 (October 11, 1953). Ben Hogan was a famous professional golf player. (It is interesting to note that in these pre-1960s strips, Charlie Brown can sometimes be quite self-confident.)
  • p. 130 (October 31, 1953). A contour sheet is a fitted bed sheet.
  • p. 207 (April 26, 1954). Schroeder is smiling, and has a candelabra on his piano, as Liberace did in his television show at the time.
  • p. 225 (June 8, 1954). Miss Frances was the host of a popular children's television program. She invented the approach of talking to her young viewers as if they were in the room with her.
  • p. 274 (October 2, 1954). After Lucy does some meaningless graffiti, Charlie Brown crosses the t.
  • p. 280 (October 15. 1954). Handballs are quite small: 1⅞ inches (4.8 centimeters) in diameter.
  • p. 281 (October 17, 1954). Outing flannel is particularly soft, having a nap on both sides.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1955 to 1956 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2005. ISBN 1560976470

  • p. 6 (January 11, 1955). A mambo is a very fast piece of dance music.
  • p. 6 (January 12, 1955). A metronome is a device for keeping a regulated beat to assist in the playing of music.
  • p. 7 (January 13, 1955). You break the sound barrier by traveling faster than the speed of sound: approximately 343 m/s, 1,087 ft/s, 761 mph or 1,235 km/h in air at sea level. The person generally credited with first doing this is Chuck Yeager on October 14, 1947.
  • p. 10 (January 22, 1955). This may be inspired by the 1940 film, Edison, the Man, which starred Spencer Tracy and told the story of the earlier years of inventor Thomas Edison.
  • p. 16 (February 4, 1955). An egotist is someone self-centered, who thinks they are "the center of the universe."
  • p. 21 (February 15, 1955). In actual farming, "parity" was the ratio of farm income to farm expenditure with 1910-1914 as a base. Farm interests from 1920s to 1960s wanted federal programs to raise their income to parity.
  • p. 33 (March 15, 1955). Lucy is playing with some famous sayings. "There's a sucker born every minute," (i.e. you can always find someone to con) is attributed to showman P.T. Barnum. "Two's company, but three's a crowd." "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
  • p. 48 (April 19, 1955). Charlie Brown is reading a Pogo comic book.
  • p. 57 (May 10, 1955) Buffalo Bill was an army scout and frontiersman who later went into the entertainment business, running his "Wild West" show. Annie Oakley was a female sharpshooter and part of the show. She was so talented that she is generally considered American's first female superstar. Although she wasn't actually part of the settling of the West, she dressed in buckskins to play up that image. It would not be too far a stretch to say that this strip is commentary on the rise of feminism that occurred after World War II.
  • p. 60 (May 16, 1955) Almost all clovers have three leafs. Due to their rarity, a four-leaf clover is considered a good luck charm.
  • p. 66 (June 1, 1955). The first appearance of one of the 1950's hottest fads, the Davy Crockett coonskin cap.(See p. 45, above.) / Sam Snead was a professional golfer famous for his large straw hats.
  • p. 69 (June 6, 1955). The song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" claims many fantastic things about the man, among them that he killed a bear "when he was only three."
  • p. 69 (June 8, 1955). "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" begins, "Davy! Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier . . ." Modern readers may find it odd that Schulz devoted so many strips to such a trivial phenomenon, but Davy Crockett and coonskin caps really were seemingly everywhere at the time. (See p. 78, June 28, 1955)
  • p. 70 (June 9, 1955). Minnesota is Chales Schulz' home state.
  • p. 73 (June 17, 1955). A white-collar worker is a professional, someone who's work is supposedly more intellectual than physical. People in manufacturing are said to be blue collar workers. The joke is that even Pig Pen's white collar is bound to be dirty.
  • p. 76 (June 25, 1955). Most recreation rooms in suburban homes are in the basement to keep the noise down.
  • p. 98 (August 14, 1955). To "clear the table" in the game of pool is to sink all the balls on one turn and thus win the game.
  • p. 99 (August 15, 1955). The umlauts over the o's would actually be pronounced "boo-woo." According the International Phonetic Alphabet, the correct way to represent "bow wow" is: bau wau.
  • p. 105 (August 30, 1955) Miss Frances was the host of a popular children's television program. She inventing the approach of talking to the her young viewers as if they were in the room with her.
  • p. 117 (September 27, 1955). Charlie Brown is shown as "small." The expression "to feel small" means to be embarrassed.
  • p. 131 (October 31, 1955). The trick-or-treaters are, in order, Patty, Lucy, Shermy, Violet, Schroeder and Linus.
    • Lucy's hair and shoes are visible on in panel #4, even though she had planned on dressing as a ghost on Oct 29/30.
    • On November 14, Pig-Pen says he was "away" on Hallowe'en, so he is not in this strip.
    • Linus is behind Schroeder in panel #9; even though Charlie Brown admired Davy Crockett earlier, Linus produces a Crockett snowman on December 12.
  • p. 142 (November 26, 1955). Snoopy is imitating Mickey Mouse.
  • p. 147 (No date in strip, but is December 7, 1955). Lucy is reading a variation on the Dick and Jane readers popular at the time. Schulz is being sarcastic. Not much really happens in the stories, so they are far from "fascinating."
  • p. 149 (December 11, 1955). The snow man is (who else?) Davy Crockett.
  • p. 156 (December 28, 1955). All fads pass, and so did Davy Crocket mania. (See p. 187, March 8, 1956, for what became of at least one old coonskin cap.)
  • p. 162 (January 10, 1956). Private first class is the "rank" immediately above Linus' current one. (See p. 159, January 4, 1956)
  • p. 163 ( January 13, 1956). Juvenile delinquency is anti-social and criminal activity by those under the age of 18. It came into the public eye and interest in the 1950s (see West Side Story).
  • p. 166 (January 19, 1956). To "read between the lines" means to understand the subtext of something—not what is actually said, but rather implied.
  • p. 167 ( January 22, 1956). Charlie Brown is putting sand (or maybe salt, if he's trying to melt it) on the ice to prevent anyone from slipping on it, which is exactly what Snoopy wants to do.
  • p. 171 (January 30, 1956). A "fair weather friend" is one who is your friend during good times ("fair weather"), but abandons you when in times of trouble ("rough weather").
  • p. 178 (February 16, 1956). Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie were the heroic canine stars of popular television shows and movies.
  • p. 178 (February 18, 1956). Static electricity seems to build up more during winter months.
  • p. 180 (February 20, 1956). Ding Dong School was the television program hosted by Miss Frances. Howdy Doody was arguably the pre-eminent children's television show of the 1950s. Lassie was a very popular television program starring a dog.
  • p. 184 (March 3, 1956). Lucy is describing a scene from Peter Pan. Most likely the book was read to her or she saw the 1954 musical starring Mary Martin on stage, since she was too young to have seen the Disney film version in 1953.
  • p. 208 (April 26, 1956). In the 1950s the government paid farmers not to use their land. The idea was that this would prevent soil erosion and build up healthier soil when crops were eventually planted.
  • p. 210 ( April 30, 1956). Unlike the previous greens, which were all legitimate shades of the color, the ones in this panel are jokes. Evergreen and wintergreen, are types of plants. Herb Green was a cartoonist, and Graham Greene a novelist.
  • p. 217 (May 18, 1956). Linus has transformed his blanket into an ascot tie, a very sophisticated look in the 1950s, frequently worn by sporty celebrities.
  • p. 232 ( June 22, 1956). Elvis Presley, "the King of Rock and Roll" had just made his first television appearances earlier that year and was a riding a huge crest of popularity. At age 21, was also, arguably, at the height of his attractiveness. And, naturally, Schroeder cares not a whit for rock music.
  • p. 233 (June 24, 1956). A dust bowl is an area where, due to drought and/or poor soil management, the soil has lost all nutrients turned to dust, and blown away.
  • p. 244 (July 19, 1956). The automatic dishwasher as we know it wasn't invented until the 1920s. With the privations imposed by the Great Depression and then World War II, it didn't become a common domestic appliance until the 1950s. And, so, of course, Violet's great-grandmother, who was probably born in the 1880s or 1890s, didn't have one.
  • p. 247 (July 27, 1956). Usually, one sticks up for the underdog, the person or thing not generally favored.
  • p. 247 (July 28, 1956). The suburban population in North America exploded after World War II. Returning veterans wishing to start a settled life moved en masse to the suburbs. Between 1950 and 1956 the resident population of all U.S. suburbs increased by 46%. And, since new suburbs were built from scratch, very few had mature trees. (Though Charlie Brown's kites never seem to have a problem finding large trees to crash into.)
  • p. 249 (July 30, 1956). The titles are all variations on popular books or types of books. From Rags to Fuss-Budget is a spin on any "Rags to Riches" tale (how someone started out poor but became rich; see the Horatio Alger novels). The Power of Positive Fussing is from Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, one of most popular inspirational books of the 1950s. Great Fuss-Budgets of Our Time: the are lots of "of Our Time" books published every year. I Was a Fuss-Budget for the F.B.I. is a take on I Was a Communist for the FBI, the radio show and, later, film about an undercover agent infiltrating communist organizations in order to disrupt them. The F.B.I. is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, America's internal criminal investigation organization. In the 1950s America was particularly interested in hunting domestic communists, something which was carried to the extremes by U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy.
  • p. 271 (September 20, 1956). Compatible color was a television broadcast standard that allowed color broadcasts to appear on black and white televisions without distortions or flickers (but still, of course, in black and white). Incompatible color was a previous color television standard developed by CBS that would have rendered all existing televisions obsolete.
  • p. 275 (September 30, 1956). Schroeder is playing the Prelude in C major from Book I of J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1957 to 1958 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2005. ISBN 1560976705

  • p. 4 (January 7, 1957) 3rd panel (and subsequent days). Stereo and Hi-Fi equipment were the latest innovations in home audio at the time.
  • p. 7 (January 16, 1957). Bastille Day is the French national holiday symbolizing the start of French democracy.
  • p. 22 (February 19, 1957). Undoubtedly Lawrence Welk, whose show first aired nationally in 1955. Possibly Schultz referred to Frankie Yankovic.
  • p. 23 (February 21, 1957). Having "both feet on the ground" means having a firm grip on reality. This pun is likely a reference to the fact that the accordion is played while standing, whereas the piano is played while seated and often with a foot on the pedals. (The accordion is also a less widely respected instrument than the piano, explaining Schroeder's disgust at the remark.)
  • p. 33 (March 17, 1957) 1st panel and following. Charlie Brown is engaged in the ancient game of hoop rolling. It's exactly what it looks like: rolling a hoop with a stick.
  • p. 34 (March 20, 1957). Skywriting is when a small airplane, expelling special smoke during flight, flies in certain patterns, creating "writing" readable from the ground.
  • p. 41 (April 6, 1957). A fiscal year is a 12-month period used for calculating annual ("yearly") financial reports in businesses and other organizations. It covers a full 365 days, but does not begin on January 1 nor end on December 31.
  • p. 53 (May 4, 1957). Old fashioned roller skates did not have their own uppers. They were essentially mini skateboards that you attached to your shoes with a set of clamps that you tightened using a skate key.
  • p. 56 (May 10, 1957). Washboards, used to wash clothes, were, of course, hand-operated.
  • p. 62 (May 23, 1957). 33 1/3 and 78 rpm were common speeds for phonograph records. (The implication is that Lucy speaks very quickly indeed!).
  • p. 77 (June 29, 1957). Buttons proclaiming "I Like Ike" were common in 1951-1952. They proclaimed support for Dwight D. Eisenhower for U.S. president. He was president from 1953 to 1961, during the time this panel ran.
  • p. 82 (July 9, 1957). Barrel staves are curved, wooden parts that make up a barrel.
  • p. 83 (July 13, 1957). "Slacker" is a term from World War I and World War II describing men who were avoiding the military draft.
  • p. 91 (July 29, 1957). Lucy has confused "phonetic" (word sounds) with "psychic" (having the ability to read minds).
  • p. 98 (August 17, 1957). According to the U.S. Census Bureau 16.1 million men and women served in the U.S. armed forces from Dec. 1, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946. So practically every U.S. family has a World War II veteran in it.
  • p. 99 (August 18, 1957). "Geronimo!" is the traditional cry of paratroopers and others as they jump out of planes. It comes from a film about the Apache leader Geronimo.
  • p. 101 (August 23, 1957). "Thar She Blows!" is the traditional yell of whale hunters when they spot a whale or, more often, a whale spouting water from its blow hole.
  • p. 112 (September 17, 1957). Snoopy is holding his fist in the air like Benito Mussolini, suggesting that Lucy is behaving like the fascist dictator.
  • p. 118 (October 2, 1957). Lucy makes this statement just two days before the launch of Sputnik!
  • p. 139 (November 18, 1957). According to Billboard, the number one song in the United States that week was "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley. Note: Schulz drew his strip weeks in advance. Even though he didn't know exactly which song would be number one, he knew it would undoubtedly be a rock and roll tune, which Schroeder naturally dislikes.
  • p. 151 (December 16, 1957). The first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1, op. 2 No. 1.
  • p. 152 (December 20, 1957). Pat Boone was a popular singer of the time. His songs were usually sweet love songs, more conventional and "middle of the road" than the raucous rock and roll of Elvis Presley. Boone had two number one songs in 1957, "Love Letters In the Sand" and "April Love".
  • p. 157 (December 30, 1957). Snoopy's ears are forming a square. "Square" is a slang term for someone who is old fashioned and not "hip." Schroeder's love of classical music marks him as definite square.
  • p. 164 (January 18, 1958). "Pioneer Days" would be the 1800s when the American Old West was first settled by white men ("pioneers"). That would anywhere from 50 to 150 years before World War II.
  • p. 172 (February 4, 1958). Another reference to Sputnik, the first artificial satellite.
  • p. 175 (February 10, 1958). Linus knows that carrying around a blanket makes him look crazy, and crazy people are not drafted into the army.
  • p. 175 (February 11, 1958). Lucy is mis-quoting Karl Marx who said, "Religion is the opium of the people." Like most people, she has mis-interpreted that saying to mean that religion is a tool used by the bourgeoisie to keep the masses quiet and complacent.
  • p. 181 (February 25, 1958). To be "blackballed" is to forbidden to join an organization. The Blue Birds were a children's club, part of the Camp Fire Organization (similar to Scouting), and so, theoretically not that picky. (Blue Birds were started in 1913 as an organization for girls. In 1989 the Blue Bird level became the "Starflight" level serving both boys and girls.)
  • p. 188 (March 13, 1958). A strop is a piece of leather used to sharpen an old-fashioned straight razor. They were also used to spank children with when they misbehaved. Schroeder's grandfather is arguing for more discipline. Electric razors don't have strops.
  • p. 190 (March 17, 1958). Jim Hagerty was President Eisenhower's press secretary. As such, any reporter would love to interview him.
  • p. 196 (March 31, 1958). The quotation is from the chlidren's book Little Black Sambo, which would now be considered racially offensive.
  • p. 199 (April 8, 1958). A parasol can not be hi-fi, but, like the term "high tech", "hi-fi" was bandied about in lots of inappropriate places in attempts to suggest that whatever was being sold was on the cutting edge of science.
  • p. 200 (April 10, 1958). See above.
  • p. 214 (May 13, 1958). Snoopy's first appearance as a vulture.
  • p. 221 (May 30, 1958). The Beat Generation refers to a group of American writers of the 1950s, most notably Jack Kerouac. But here Charlie Brown is referring to himself as beaten down by life in general.
  • p. 222 (June 1, 1958). "Dear Agnes" is a play on Dear Abby, the advice columnist (or "agony aunt"), whose column began running in 1956.
  • p. 224 (June 6, 1958). A gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.
  • p. 239 (July 12, 1958). Van Cliburn was a well known classical pianist of the late fifties.
  • p. 268 (September 17, 1958). See p. 232, June 23, 1958. Odd that Schulz recycles an idea not four months after he first uses it.
  • p. 269 (September 19, 1958). "The fastest gun in the west" was a claim made by many an Old West gunslinger. It literally meant that you were able to draw your gun and shoot faster than any opponent, thus killing them.
  • p. 217 (September 22, 1958). "I don't pretend to be able to give advice." All that would change with the coming of her psychiatric advice booth (Vol. 5, p. 37, March 27, 1959).
  • p. 274 (September 29, 1958) Hula hoops! The only thing more ubiquitous than Davy Crockett in the 1950s was hula hoops. Peanuts is a veritable index to the pop culture of the second half of the 20th century.
  • p. 275 (October 3, 1958). The ticking of a clock supposedly simulates the heartbeat of the mother, which a puppy would have heard in the womb and while snuggled up against the mother after birth, in order to reassure it.
  • p. 289 (November 3, 1958). The underdog is the person or team not expected to win a contest. The word's origin, in ship construction, actually does make its opposite "overdog."
  • p. 289 (November 4, 1958). Beethoven did not belong to a country club, so he never had the chance to become "club champion": the member of the club who is the best at a particular sport, usually golf or tennis.
  • p. 310 (December 24, 1958). The age of accountability is the age at which a child knows right from wrong and is responsible for his/her own actions. In the Catholic Church it's 7.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1959 to 1960 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2006. ISBN 1560976713

  • p. 3 (January 6, 1959) 4th panel. Popular songs were the music that "everybody" was familiar with during the first half of the 20th century, until rock and roll replaced it as the music of the general public.
    • "Stardust", written by Hoagy Carmichael, and recorded thousands of times, was one of the most popular of these "popular songs." During the 1940s - 50s many older pieces of music (including some classical) were jazzed up, given lyrics and became "hits." For example, "Stranger in Paradise" from the 1953 musical Kismet is based on Alexander Borodin's Polovetsian Dances and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B-Flat Minor became “Tonight We Love.” The joke is that the children are so young that they don't know "Stardust" has already been around a while and in fact started out as a pop song.
  • p. 18 (February 11, 1959) 3rd panel. "Tennessee Ernie" is Tennessee Ernie Ford, a popular singer and TV variety show host.
  • p. 30 (March 9, 1959) 2nd panel. Deep focus again. (See also Vol. 1, p. 267, November 15, 1952.)
  • p. 37 (March 27, 1959). The first appearance of Lucy's psychiatric help booth.
  • p. 38 (March 29, 1959). Commercial use of jet aircraft in the United States began with the Boeing 707, first used in international service in October 1958 and for domestic flights in January 1959. Jets were louder than the propeller-driven aircraft they replaced, and in many places, people living near airports distributed petitions in an attempt to reduce the number of jet flights and/or reroute jet traffic away from their homes.
  • p. 42 (April 6, 1959) 3rd and 4th panels. “Mommy-O” is a spin on "Daddy-O", what one cool cat might call another, in common usage among American teens of the period.
  • p. 60 (May 18, 1959). Telephone booth stuffing, in which as many people as possible tried to cram into the same glass-walled phone booth, was a fad in the late 1950s, primarily on college campuses.
  • p. 67 (June 6, 1959). "I was an only dog." Schulz would later change his mind on this (or, he simply forgot the line). Over the years (see May 5, 1965), we would learn that Snoopy had seven siblings.
  • p. 68 (June 7, 1959). The first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1, op. 2 No. 1.
  • p. 79 (July 4, 1959) 4th panel. Charlie Brown is suggesting that his father will have to drastically raise the price of haircuts at his barber shop in order to cover the increased cost of living that comes with an expanded family. At the time, haircuts typically cost less than $2.00.
  • p. 81 (July 6, 1959). The Soviet Union was well-known for sending dogs into space, experiments which were continuing as of this date. The American space program had actually sent mice into space in the early 1950s; by 1959, they had moved on to monkeys, with a pair surviving a flight in May of that year. Various other animals also made space flights.
  • p. 87 (July 20, 1959). The back sides of boxes of breakfast cereals aimed at children often had brief stories or comic strips printed on them.
  • p. 87 (July 22, 1959). The Continental League was proposed in 1959 as a competitor to the American and National baseball leagues. It was to have begun play in 1961, but the existing leagues soon announced plans for expansion teams in some of the Continental League cities, thus eliminating much of the new league's reason for being.
  • p. 99 (August 19, 1959). "Hot summer nights": the name given to racial riots of the 1950s and 60s.
  • p. 101 (August 23, 1959). Note that it was three months between the first mention of Charlie Brown's new baby sister (May 26, 1959) and this, her first actual appearance in the strip.
  • p. 120 (October 6, 1959). First mention of "Miss Othmar."
  • p. 124 (October 16, 1959) 4th panel. The Brothers Grimm popularized the legend of the Pied Piper, who is reputed to have used his pipe to play music to lure an infestation of rats out of the town of Hamelin, Germany; when he was not paid by the townspeople, he later returned and lured the town's children away.
  • p. 126 (October 21, 1959). Lucy is reading the mythological story of King Midas. Linus is correct that things backfired for the king.
  • p. 131 (November 1, 1959) 5th through 7th panels. Dr. Benjamin Spock's bestselling book Baby and Child Care, first published in 1946, advocated a more loving approach—some would say "permissive"—to raising a baby than had previously been in vogue.
  • p. 137 (November 15, 1959) 4th and 5th panels. The Soviet Union launched several Sputnik satellites between 1957 and 1960, apparently enough that Charlie Brown and Lucy could use "Sputnik" as a generic term meaning "artificial satellite."
  • p. 138 (November 17, 1959) 1st panel. A score of 300—12 strikes in a row—is the best possible score in a single game of ten-pin bowling.
  • p. 145 (December 5, 1959) 2nd and 3rd panels. Horsehide is another name for a baseball and pigskin is another name for an American football, in both cases due to the material traditionally used for each ball's cover. Both are now much more commonly made from either cow leather or synthetic materials.
  • p. 150 (December 14, 1959) 4th panel. Beethoven's first name was actually Ludwig.
  • p. 160 (January 7, 1960) 4th panel. Indoor antennas intended primarily for receiving VHF television broadcasts were frequently in the form of a dipole antenna placed on top of the TV set, each pole a separate telescoping metal rod. Often set at a 45-degree angle to the set and a 90-degree angle to each other, these antennas were nicknamed "rabbit ears."
  • p. 162 (January 12, 1960). "Rabbit ears" antennas often had to be adjusted to a different position in order to improve the quality of the television picture, when changing to a channel that was transmitting from a different location than the previous channel, or as a result of changing atmospheric conditions.
  • p. 164 (January 17, 1960). The first iteration of what would become a recurring theme: Snoopy and his doomed relationship with a snowman. See also February 2, 1961; January 15–20, 1962; and, most memorably, February 18, 1962.
  • p. 174 (February 8, 1960). Snoopy's doghouse had not previously been shown as being this close to a house—see January 2, 1960, for example.
  • p. 189 (March 14, 1960). "Whirlybird" is a nickname for helicopters.
  • p. 207 (April 25, 1960) 4th panel. The phrase "happiness is a warm puppy" led to an explosion in Peanuts merchandise and entered the consciousness of the public at large, even inspiring a Beatles song. (Also see the April 27 and April 30 strips.)
  • p. 224 (June 5, 1960). Linus starts singing the traditional spiritual "Dem Bones."
  • p. 240 (July 12, 1960). The picture tube is the main part of a traditional television set.
  • p. 243 (July 18, 1960). Uncle Sam is the traditional personification of the United States. The elephant is a symbol for the Republican party, and the donkey is a symbol for its counterpart, the Democratic party. A snake with the phrase "Don't tread on me" is an image from early American history, most notably seen on the Gadsden flag. All of this means that Lucy has crammed a bunch of symbols commonly used by editorial cartoonists into the same cartoon.
  • p. 245 (July 24, 1960) 13th panel. Lucy's microphone is a lavalier-type condenser microphone, commonly worn by television personalities who would have to move around too much to use a fixed microphone and didn't need to use a handheld type. This type of microphone later became much smaller, to the point where it can now be clipped to a lapel or even hidden beneath a shirt.
  • p. 253 (August 11, 1960). The spitball was banned in professional baseball in 1920. Schulz and/or his syndicate may have worried about some client newspapers' acceptance of the word "spit" on their comics page, hence the use of the euphemism "expectorate ball."
  • p. 254 (August 14, 1960) 4th panel. British Honduras is now known as Belize, after having become a self-governing colony in 1964 and fully independent of the United Kingdom in 1981.
  • p. 257 (August 21, 1960) 6th panel. "Rain Rain Go Away" is a traditional nursery rhyme that normally doesn't work this quickly. (Also see the following two Sunday strips, August 28 and September 4.)
  • p. 264 (September 6, 1960). This storyline may have been inspired by an upgrade of U.S. 101 through Sonoma County, California, upgraded to a freeway in the 1960s. Since freeways are wider than traditional roads and require additional space for grade-separated interchanges at intersections, their construction often results in the need for the local government to use eminent domain powers to purchase significant amounts of land on and around the route of the road.
  • p. 273 (September 28, 1960). Comedian Mort Sahl took much of his material from current events.
  • p. 282 (October 17, 1960). "Population explosion" was a term commonly used to describe conditions that could be leading to overpopulation, in the news at the time due to the baby boom following World War II.
  • p. 305 (December 11, 1960), p. 308 (December 18, 1960), and p. 311 (December 25, 1960). This year, Linus's piece to memorize for the Christmas program is Luke 2:1, and Charlie Brown has Luke 2:8.
  • p. 313 (December 30, 1960). A container for restaurant leftovers is sometimes known as a doggie bag.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1961 to 1962 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2006. ISBN 1560976721

  • p. 1 (January 1, 1961). In ten pin bowling, the bowler gets two tries to knock down ten pins; if he/she gets the remainder of pins on the second roll, it is called a “spare”. Lucy is “picking up the spare” by knocking down Charlie Brown, the last boy standing.
  • p. 2 (January 2, 1961). This strip begins what would be the longest continued narrative in Peanuts up to that time: three weeks.
  • p. 3 (January 6, 1961). The end of this strip and the following three dailies are sly references to drug withdrawal, specifically heroin—an amusingly mature theme for the comics pages, especially at a time where comics were expected to have nothing to do with political and social issues, although not surprising for Peanuts, as it would explicitly tackle those kinds of issues later on, such as the Vietnam War and tear gas at campaign protests of the early 70's and late 60's, runaway licensing, and once in 1985, even triple bypass surgery.
  • p. 5 (January 11, 1961). Hyannis Port (sometimes written “Hyannisport”) is an affluent residential village southwest of Hyannis. It is best known as the ancestral home of the Kennedy family, including then–President-elect John F. Kennedy, who would be inaugurated nine days later, on January 20.
  • p. 10 (January 22, 1961). A reference to the biblical story of David and Goliath. The diminutive Israeli shepherd David slew the giant Philistine warrior Goliath with a rock hurled from a sling, as Linus does here with a snowball from his blanket.
  • p. 12 (January 28, 1961). The second appearance of Lucy’s psychiatric booth in the strip proper (the first was on March 27, 1959, after appearing on the back cover of the strip collection book You're Out of Your Mind, Charlie Brown, published in February 1959), and the first time it is drawn with its familiar canopy. Also note the redundant “5¢” sign at the bottom; this would later be replaced.
  • p. 14 (January 30, 1961). Linus is tabulating the combined gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The song has twelve verses, each listing the gifts given by “my true love”; the gifts cumulate with each day/verse. Linus’s math is correct; however, the song is more commonly sung to refer to “drummers drumming” rather than “fiddlers fiddling”.
  • p. 17 (February 8, 1961). Pasteurization is the process of heating liquids for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organisms, named for its inventor, chemist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895). It is most commonly used on milk, hence Lucy’s pun here. Puns of this sort would later be almost completely delegated to Snoopy once he began typing.
  • p. 18 (February 11, 1961). Speculating on the effects of television on American culture, which Snoopy parodies here, was a common theme in the early days of the Kennedy administration. It would culminate three months later with Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow’s “Television and the Public Interest” speech, where he famously argued that television was often a “vast wasteland” with detrimental effects on the viewing public.
  • p. 21 (February 16, 1961). For the rest of 1961, Linus and (less often) the other characters will sometimes be wearing American Civil War–style hats, due to its centennial (specifically referred to on July 8 and November 23, 1961).
  • p. 21 (February 16, 1961). First instance of a note in Linus' lunch.
  • p. 29 (March 6, 1961). The first appearance of Frieda. Like Charlie Brown and Linus, she was named after one of Schulz’s fellow instructors at the Art Instruction School in Minneapolis.[2]
  • p. 34 (March 19, 1961). A flannelgraph is a method of telling stories, used in real life as Lucy does here. It is generally associated with American evangelical Sunday school lessons, as a means of telling Bible stories to young children. Schulz was undoubtedly aware of the practice from his own experiences teaching Sunday school. Christian writer John Fischer said, “[t]hough it has largely disappeared from the scene, flannelgraph may very well be the closest thing to a strictly evangelical art form, for I never encountered it anywhere but in Christian endeavors, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else since. It was an evangelical quirk of the 1950s that soon went the way of sword drills and the family altar”.[3]
  • p. 36 (March 23, 1961). In 1961, a television small enough to be portable was still a relative novelty.
  • p. 47 (April 17, 1961). National Library Week was started in 1958 amid concerns that television was reducing reading by children.[4]
  • p. 48 (April 21, 1961). Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel (1904–1991) was a popular American children’s book author, best known for his 1957 book The Cat in the Hat.
  • p. 54 (May 4, 1961). Lucy’s psychiatrist booth takes on its final appearance with the addition of the “The doctor is in” sign.
  • p. 60 (May 19, 1961). The H-Bomb is the common form of referring to hydrogen bombs.
  • p. 62 (May 23, 1961). Frieda’s cat Faron was the only cat that would ever appear in Peanuts. Schulz wrote later: “One day, while searching for some kind of new story to work on, I decided to have the character named Frieda... threaten Snoopy with bringing a cat into the neighborhood. Snoopy was horrified, and, when the cat arrived, did not like it at all. Fortunately for him, I also discovered that I didn’t care much for the cat. For one thing, I realized that I don’t draw a cat very well, and secondly, if I were to keep up the relationship, I would have a traditional cat-and-dog strip, which was something I certainly wanted to avoid... the cat brought Snoopy back to being too much of a real dog. By the time the cat had come into the strip, Snoopy was drifting further and further into his fantasy life, and it was important that he continue in that direction. To take him back to his earlier days would not work, so I did the obvious and removed the cat. (My only regret was that I had named the cat after Faron Young, a country-and-western singer whom I admired very much...)”[2] Schulz would later introduce an “offstage” cat.
  • p. 63 (May 26, 1961). “Sandbagging” is a term mainly used in gaming or sporting contexts, meaning to feign weakness to obtain an advantage.
  • p. 64 (May 28, 1961). “Just Before the Battle” was an 1864 song written by George F. Root; it was a pro-Union song but was popular throughout America, including in the Confederacy. Linus is singing it in keeping with his Civil War centennial interest. He has gotten the lyrics wrong slightly: the second line is actually “I am thinking most of you”.

Schulz would often refer to this strip as one of his favorites, and also as one of the few that was based on an idea he had gotten from his children: “We were at the dinner table and Amy was talking away on a real talking streak and finally I said, ‘Can’t you please be quiet?’ and she was silent for a moment and then picked up a piece of bread and began to butter it, saying, ‘Am I buttering too loud for you?’”[5] The punchline would be repeated by Schulz on August 5, 1998, in honor of Amy’s birthday.[6]

  • p. 67 (June 4, 1961). In keeping with Schulz’s attention to detail, all of Lucy’s definitions are accurate.
  • p. 75 (June 22, 1961). The “little girl” referred to in this and the next two strips is President Kennedy’s daughter Caroline, who was three years old at the time they were published.
  • p. 80 (July 4, 1961). Shrimp Louie (or Louis) is a type of salad with shrimp and hard-boiled eggs. The recipe is based on the better-known Crab Louie.
  • p. 81 (July 8, 1961). Another reference to the Civil War Centennial. Charlie Brown is singing the “Battle Cry of Freedom”, a pro-Union song written by George F. Root in 1862; it was the most popular song of its day. Schroeder is singing “The Bonnie Blue Flag”, a pro-Confederacy song written by Harry McCarthy in 1861. See also May 28, 1961.
  • p. 83 (July 10, 1961). The Flabby American was a television program about the physical fitness of Americans broadcast on May 30, 1961.
  • p. 102 (August 25, 1961). "Clam diggers" are pants that are longer than shorts but are not as long as long pants.
  • p. 121 (October 8, 1961). Blackbeard refers to the famous 18th century pirate Edward Teach, best known as Blackbeard.
  • p. 139 (November 19, 1961). The first reference to Charlie Brown’s unrequited love, The Little Red-Haired Girl. Schulz based her on Donna Johnson, a fellow teacher of his at the Art Instruction School, whom he dated in 1950. He had wanted to marry her, but later that year she married another man.

Schulz said in 1997, “I was sitting home one night with my kids, and I was listening to some Hank Williams songs, and I was listening to Joni James singing, ‘Today I met you on the street, my heart fell at your feet,’ you know, and those songs were so depressing. And that was the mindset that got me going on Charlie Brown sitting at the playground, eating his lunch, and he looks across the playground, and he sees the Little Red-Haired Girl, and from that, that whole series came, one thing after another.”[7]

  • p. 151 and 154 (December 17 and 24, 1961). Linus' quotation is Matthew 2:17-18.
  • p. 170 (January 31, 1962). Linus refers to a queen snake for the first time.
  • p. 204 (April 20, 1962). Myopic refers to myopia, or nearsightedness, which is presumably why Linus requires glasses.
  • p. 212 (May 8, 1962). "A pretty girl is like a melody" is the title of a popular song by Irving Berlin, originally published in 1919.
  • p. 240 (July 12, 1962). Sam Snead was a legendary professional golfer from the thirties into the sixties, while Don Carter was a well known professional bowler during the fifties and early sixties.
  • p. 258 (August 25, 1962). Atmospheric testing refers to the testing of nuclear weapons within the atmosphere, as opposed to underground testing. Atmospheric testing was banned under the Limited Test Ban Treaty, signed in August 1963.
  • p. 273 (September 27, 1962). Gargoyles are ornamental sculptures of grotesque figures, used to convey rainwater away from a building.
  • p. 281 (October 15, 1962). The Sabin oral polio vaccine was a poliomyelitis vaccine developed by Albert Sabin that could be taken orally. It replaced the earlier Salk vaccine, which needed to be injected with a syringe.
  • p. 288 (November 2, 1962). Linus is alluding to the expression "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". The original phrase is "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.", taken from "The Mourning Bride" (1697) by William Congreve.
  • p. 290 (November 6, 1962). Linus is referring to the novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger (1951) which caused a controversy in the early 1960s because of its use by US high school teachers in English classes.
  • p. 293 (November 12, 1962). Rachel Carson was the author of the early environmentalist book Silent Spring. As a well known author and scientist at the time, Carson will be frequently referenced in future strips as a female role model.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1963 to 1964 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2007. ISBN 156097723X

  • p. 10 (January 23, 1963). A googol is 10 to the power 100, or 1 with 100 zeros after it. It was given this name by nine year old Milton Sirotta, nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner.
  • p. 19 (February 11, 1963). Divinity is a nougat-like confectionery made mainly with egg white, corn syrup, and sugar.
  • p. 19 (February 13, 1963). In ten pin bowling, 300 represents a perfect score. As there are 10 frames in a game, Violet’s Dad is clearly getting ahead of himself.
  • p. 34 - 35 (March 18–23, 1963). An Honor roll is a list of students at a school recognized for their academic achievements.
  • p. 61 (May 20, 1963). The "movie" Snoopy refers to is the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds, which opened in the spring of 1963. The film was shot on location in Bodega, California - not far from Schulz's residence in Sebastopol.
  • p. 64 (May 28, 1963). Snoopy is mimicking a set of “rabbit ear” antennae on top of a contemporary television set, which needed to be adjusted in this fashion to tune in distant stations; this is still true for direct-reception even today.
  • p. 74 (June 21, 1963). Lucy is reciting "Tinker, Tailor..." She recites it again while skipping rope on March 25, 1972.
  • p. 85 - 86 (July 15–20, 1963). A total solar eclipse occurred over North America on July 20, 1963.
  • p. 94 (August 5 and 6, 1963). In baseball, a pitcher is restricted in the kind of motions he can make while pitching. If he makes an illegal movement, a balk is called and runners on base can advance one base.
  • p. 116 (September 27, 1963). The US Post Office introduced the 5-digit ZIP code on July 1, 1963.
  • p. 118 (October 1, 1963). 5’s last name is his ZIP code (95472), which is the ZIP code for Sebastopol, California.
  • p. 126 (October 20, 1963). Prayer in American public schools was declared unconstitutional in the case of Abington School District v. Schempp, decided on June 23, 1963.
  • p. 150 (December 15, 1963). Albert Schweitzer won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his medical missionary work.
  • p. 164 (January 17, 1964). Schulz has made an error here - the figure should be "sixty million" and not "sixty billion."
  • p. 175 (February 10, 1964). The quotations are from the book The Gulistan by the 13th century Persian poet Sa-di.
  • p. 177 (February 16, 1964). Doctor Horwich refers to Frances Horwich, the educator and children's TV show hostess also known as "Miss Frances."
  • P. 182 (February 29, 1964). First mention of Snoopy being the owner of a painting by Van Gogh.
  • p. 205 (April 22, 1964). “New Math” refers to the change in how mathematics was taught in public schools in the United States during the 1960s.
  • p. 227 (June 11, 1964. A beanball is a pitch that aims at the batter's body.
  • p. 230 (June 18, 1964). “Highbrow is a term derived from Phrenology, implying that an art form is intellectual, while Lowbrow is supposedly non-intellectual, and Middlebrow is somewhere in between.
  • p. 241 (July 14, 1964). Willard Mullin was an American sports cartoonist, best known for his creation of the “Brooklyn Bum”, a characterization of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.
  • p. 271 (September 23, 1964). The Maccabees were Jewish rebels who ruled Judea from 164 BCE to 63 BCE. Antiochus Epiphanes was the ruler they were rebelling against.
  • p. 274 (September 28, 1964). Willie Mays was one of the finest baseball players of his time, and indeed, of all time. Linus has thus set his ambitions very high.
  • p. 298 (November 25, 1964). Pebble Beach is a coastal resort town in northern California between Monterey and Carmel. It has several well-regarded golf courses.
  • p. 307 (December 14, 1964). Ipanema is a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A recording of the song "The Girl From Ipanema" became an international hit in 1964.
  • p. 310 (December 21, 1964). Luke 2:8


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1965 to 1966 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2007. ISBN 1560977248)

  • p. 2 (January 3, 1965). Billiard balls were made from elephant ivory from the 17th century until the early 20th century. English is a term referring to putting a spin on the cue ball by striking the ball off-center with the cue.
  • p. 4 (January 9, 1965). Annette Funicello was an original cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club TV show in 1955, when she was 13 years old. This strip was published on the day of her wedding to Jack Gilardi.
  • p. 28 (March 4, 1965). A cinch notice is an official notice from a teacher that your grades are unsatisfactory.
  • p. 32 (March 14, 1965). The first reference in Peanuts to the kite-eating tree.
  • p. 47 (April 18, 1965). In baseball, a bean ball is a ball thrown by a pitcher directly at a player with the intent of hitting them. The Children's Crusade was a possibly legendary event that occurred in 1212 during The Crusades. The incident at Harper’s Ferry was an attempt by abolitionist John Brown to start a slave revolt in 1859.
  • p. 52 (April 30, 1965). In the sixth chapter of Daniel, Daniel is thrown into a lions’ den for refusing to stop praying to his god. See also October 20, 1963.
  • p. 54 (May 5, 1965). First mention of Snoopy's siblings. First mention of the "Daisy Hill Puppy Farm."
  • p. 70 (June 11, 1965). Roy’s first appearance. Roy was best known for later introducing Peppermint Patty to the rest of the cast. See August 22, 1966.
  • p. 75 (June 23, 1965). At the time of this strip, the phrase À gogo was supposed to mean modern or up-to-date. The actual meaning of À gogo is “plenty” or “galore”.
  • p. 84 (July 12, 1965). First instance of Snoopy writing "It was a dark and stormy night." The sentence is taken from the novel Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
  • p. 96 (August 9, 1965). There are several meanings claimed for 'hodad', but it appears that Schulz is referring to someone who brings a surfboard to the beach but never surfs, i.e. a poser.
  • p. 97 (August 14, 1965). It is difficult to know if this is a reference to the Houston Astrodome, which opened in April 1965 with natural grass as the playing surface. The grass soon died due to painted-over skylights, but artificial grass was not installed until 1966.
  • p. 98 (August 15, 1965). The phone number given in the last panel was actually the phone number of producer Lee Mendelson, who at the time was working on the very first animated Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • p. 102 (August 24, 1965). An Australian phrase meaning an all-out effort. "Bush" is Australian slang for a sparsely populated area or for wilderness. An equivalent phrase in American English would be "The Super Bowl or bust!"
  • p. 107 (September 5, 1965). Lucy's comments on the relationship between sin and personal misfortune reflects the conception of happiness in the Old Testament. She will often come back to it again, for example in the doghouse fire series (see p. 271, September 24, 1966).
  • p. 109 (September 9, 1965). The phrase “It is far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness” originated in a sermon from a 1907 collection titled “The Supreme Conquest and Other Sermons Preached in America” by William L. Watkinson. Slight paraphrases are widespread, including one which was used by the founder of Amnesty International and which inspired their logo.
  • p. 120 (October 6, 1965). See April 22, 1964.
  • p. 122 (October 10, 1965). Snoopy’s first appearance in his most famous persona, the World War I flying ace. The Sopwith Camel was a British single seat fighter aircraft employed by the allies at the end of World War I. The Red Baron was a nickname for German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, the highest scoring German ace of the First World War.
  • p. 129 (October 26, 1965). In the last panel, the phrase “ you try harder” is a reference to the corporate motto of Avis Rent a Car. At the time, Avis conducted an extensive advertising campaign around the phrase “We’re number two because we try harder” versus the leading rental car company, Hertz.
  • p. 135 (November 8, 1965). The beginning of Mark Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act III scene 2.
  • p. 144 (November 29, 1965). Amblyopia is a visual deficiency in an eye that is otherwise physically normal. Schulz calls Sally’s condition Amblyopia ex anopsia, but the symptoms and treatment sound more like Stabismic amblyopia. Sally will continue to wear the eye patch in most strips until May 1966.
  • p. 147 (December 6, 1965). In 1951, the Hathaway shirt company ran its first advertisement that featured a distinguished man in a shirt and tie and wearing an eyepatch. The ad campaign was extremely successful and "The Man in the Hathaway Shirt" became the icon for the company.
  • p. 168 (January 24, 1966). Schulz repeats the same gag on December 20, 1966. See p. 309.
  • p. 175 (February 12, 1966). The quotation in panel 3 is from Psalm 35, verses 1 and 15.
  • p. 177 (February 15, 1966). See September 28, 1964.
  • p. 192 (March 21, 1966). Fort Zinderneuf is the main setting of the novel and film Beau Geste, which is about French Foreign Legionnaires. Other references to Beau Geste appear in April 1966 strips.
  • p. 210 (May 3, 1966). Commissioner Eckert was Commissioner of Baseball William Eckert, who was commissioner between 1965 and 1968.
  • p. 215 (May 15, 1966). There is an interesting mismatch between the daily strip and the Sunday strip here—Linus, who has moved away in the daily strip is present for the baseball game in the Sunday strip!
  • p. 232 (June 23, 1966). The quotation is from Jeremiah 31, verses 16-17. Linus' speech happens at a time of rising anxiety in America about the sudden escalation of the Vietname War.
  • p. 248 (July 31, 1966). K.P. stands for "kitchen patrol" or “kitchen police“, military slang for kitchen duties.
  • p. 255 (August 16, 1966). Apparently a reference to the German word "Kamerad" (comrade) which was used as a term for surrender.
  • p. 262 (September 1, 1966). Leonard Bernstein was a famous conductor and composer of the time.
  • p. 294 (November 15, 1966). In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, “fuzz” was slang for the police.
  • p. 307 (December 17, 1966). The quotation is from Act II, Scene II of Romeo and Juliet.
  • p. 309 (December 20, 1966). Schulz had drawn the same gag on January 24, 1966. See p. 168.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1967 to 1968 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2008. ISBN 1560978260

  • p. 8 (January 18, 1967). The Fokker D7 (actually Fokker D.VII) was an advanced German biplane that came into service at the end of World War I, while Nieuports were French-built biplanes widely flown by the Allies. The Unter Den Linden is a grand boulevard in Berlin, and is here being used as a German substitution for Broadway in the famous song.
  • p. 14 (February 1, 1967). Barnstorming was an ancestor of the modern Airshow during the 1920s, where First World War pilots flying military surplus aircraft demonstrated aerobatics and were paid to take passengers on brief flights.
  • p. 23 (February 22, 1967). Charlie Brown invokes the name of George Washington on Washington's birthday, to make Sally feel guilty about lying, as Washington was noted for youthful honesty in the apocryphal story of his childhood behavior of, after chopping down a cherry tree, telling his father, "I cannot tell a lie."
  • p. 46 (April 16, 1967). Sandy Koufax was a well known pitcher for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, who had retired in 1966.
  • p. 69 (June 8, 1967). General Pershing was the commander of the United States Army in Europe during the First World War.
  • p. 121 (October 8, 1967). Bobby Hull was one of the finest hockey players of all time, and at the time was playing Left Wing for the Chicago Black Hawks.
  • p. 141 (November 25, 1967). At the time of this strip, the New York Mets were a recent expansion Baseball club with a terrible win-loss record, which is what Linus is referring to here.
  • p. 146 (December 4, 1967). Sonja Henie was a three-time gold medal winning Olympic figure skater from Norway, who later became a professional figure skater and film star.
  • p. 200 (April 9, 1968). “Arnold and Winnie” refers to golfer Arnold Palmer, one of the best known golfers of the era, and his wife Winifred.
  • p. 201 (April 9, 1968). “Snoopy‘s Squad” presumably refers to the many fans of Arnold Palmer, who were collectively known as “Arnie’s Army”.
  • p. 206 (April 22, 1968). Petaluma, Ca., has held the world wrist wrestling championships from 1952 to 2003.
  • p. 226 (June 9, 1968). Schroeder is playing the first movement of Beethoven's piano sonata No. 8 in c minor, op. 13, the "Pathethique".
  • p. 227 (June 10, 1968). The phrase in the final frame is a spoof on the then current television spy show Mission: Impossible, in which the leader of the Impossible Mission Force is delivered a mission at the beginning of each show in the form of a tape recording. After describing the mission, the recording then warns that it will “self-destruct in five seconds” before it disintegrates in a puff of smoke.
  • p. 248 (July 31, 1968). Franklin’s first appearance in the strip.
  • p. 250 (August 4, 1968). Muscle Beach is a beachfront area in the Los Angeles, California area, known for demonstrations by weightlifters and acrobats.
  • p. 251 (August 6, 1968). "Chloe" is a Jazz standard from 1927 with music by Neil Moret and lyrics by Gus Kahn.
  • p. 266 (September 10, 1968). Tiny Tim was the stage name of Herbert Khaury, a popular novelty musician of the time.
  • p. 268 (September 15, 1968). Love beads were a frequent fashion accessory of the time worn by both male and female hippies.
  • p. 273 (September 28, 1968). A holding pattern is a circling manoeuvre used by aircraft that are waiting to land at an overcrowded airport.
  • p. 305 (December 11, 1968). Jack Nicklaus was one of the finest professional golfers of all time.
  • p. 308 (December 18, 1968). Rosebud is a reference to the film Citizen Kane by Orson Welles.
  • p. 310 (December 22, 1968). Linus is taking Lucy’s dictation with shorthand, an abbreviated form of writing that was more commonly used before the wide availability of voice recording equipment. In this era, secretaries were almost inevitably female, and a female with a male secretary would have been considered most unusual.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1969 to 1970 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2008. ISBN 1560978279

  • p. 4 (January 8, 1969). Peggy Fleming was a famous figure skater, who had won the gold medal for figure skating at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France .
  • p. 8 (January 16, 1969). See December 4, 1967 and October 8, 1967.
  • p. 14 (February 1, 1969). Joe Garagioloa was a former baseball player who had become a broadcaster, and at this time was a panelist on The Today Show.
  • p. 17 (February 6, 1969). The height of the pitcher’s mound in Major League Baseball was lowered by five inches after the 1968 baseball season. As Charlie Brown relates, this was designed to lower the dominance of pitching in baseball by reducing the advantage held by the pitcher. See also March 25, 1969.
  • p. 22 (February 18, 1969). In Genesis 19:26, Lot’s Wife looks back as they flee the city of Sodom (defying the angels who told them not to look back), and is turned to a pillar of salt. At Luke 17:32 Jesus said: "Remember Lot’s wife!".
  • p. 29, 31–32 (March 8–15, 1969). Schulz features Snoopy travelling to the moon in his astronaut persona as the genuine Apollo program approached its climax. This series of strips ran during the Apollo 9 mission, with the dress rehearsal Apollo 10 following in May and the first moon landing on Apollo 11 in July. The Lunar Lander from Apollo 10 was nicknamed “Snoopy".
  • p. 32 (March 13, 1969). Snoopy is alluding to comments made by astronauts Bill Anders and Jim Lovell during the Apollo 8 mission the previous December.
  • p. 37 (March 24, 1969). Expansion clubs are new teams that have just been added to a sports league, and usually have less experienced players and staff. At this time, Major League Baseball had just undergone significant expansion, with four new teams added in Montreal, San Diego, Kansas City and Seattle for the 1969 season.
  • p. 37–38 (March 26–29, 1969). Hyponatremia is indeed the term for the condition Linus describes. The special balanced electrolyte solution that Linus prescribes for the condition was already available in commercial form as Gatorade.
  • p. 58 (May 13, 1969). “Play it again, Sam” is a reference to the classic motion picture Casablanca. This line is not actually in the film: the actual quotation is "If she can stand it, I can! Play it!".
  • p. 60 (May 18, 1969). Kermit Zarley was a professional golfer on the PGA tour. Also see February 1, 1969 and October 8, 1967.
  • p. 74 (June 21, 1969). Eddie Rickenbacker was the highest scoring American fighter pilot during World War I, after a previous career as a racing driver.
  • p. 77 (June 26, 1969). See June 8, 1967.
  • p. 80 (July 4, 1969). Roller Derby is a sport involving teams of five players roller skating around a track. At this time, Roller Derby was closer to sports entertainment (similar to professional wrestling) than an actual competitive sport, which explains Snoopy’s outfit.
  • p. 93 (August 3, 1969). Babe Ruth was one of the best known baseball players in history. See also September 28, 1964.
  • p. 112 (September 15, 1969). At the time of this strip, the United States military still practiced conscription, and the military draft was a concern for all males as their 18th birthday approached. Conscription was subsequently eliminated in favor of an all-volunteer military in 1973.
  • p. 119 (October 3, 1969). Rod McKuen was best known as a poet and songwriter. Sally is confused, as usual.
  • p. 136 (November 11, 1969). Bill Mauldin was an American soldier and cartoonist, best known for creating the characters Willie and Joe for cartoons that appeared in Stars and Stripes during World War II.
  • p. 151 (December 16, 1969). Snoopy has confused his terminology somewhat; the usual term for the easy ski hill that beginners use is the “bunny hill”, rather than “rabbit slope”.
  • p. 153 (December 21, 1969). The quotation on the descent of Jesus that Linus recites is Matthew 1:1–18.
  • p. 157 (December 31, 1969). Fred Glover was a hockey player and coach (at the time, coach of the Oakland Seals of the NHL. Hank Aaron was a baseball player with the Atlanta Braves. Pancho Gonzales was a famous professional tennis player. See also January 8, 1969, February 1, 1969, December 11, 1968 and October 11, 1968.
  • p. 190 (March 18, 1970). "I was born one bright spring morning..." Yet Snoopy's birthday was celebrated in the strip of August 10, 1968.
  • p.196 (April 1, 1970), Ted Williams is regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He retired from playing in 1960 and was appointed manager of the Washington Senators in 1969, despite having never coached or managed at any level of baseball.
  • p. 206 (April 24, 1970). Lucy should have looked up "Arbor Day" instead.
  • p. 230 (June 19, 1970). Bobby Orr is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. He played 10 seasons with the Boston Bruins and in May 1970 he scored the cup-winning goal, in overtime, in the final match of Boston's Stanley Cup series with the St Louis Blues. It was Boston's first Stanley Cup victory in 29 years.
  • p.232 (June 22, 1970) Woodstock Music and Art Fair, commonly referred to as "Woodstock", was a legendary music festival held August 15–18, 1969, in Bethel, New York.
  • p. 246 (July 26, 1970). First mention of "The Six Bunny-wunnies" fictional series of books.
  • P. 308 (December 17, 1970). Ouija boards enjoyed a bit of popularity among the general population in the late 1960s and early 1970s, after their commercialization as a toy by Parker Brothers in 1966.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2009. ISBN 1606991450

  • p. 49 (April 23, 1971). Herman Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Snoopy's interest in this rather heavy literary figure is meant to contrast amusingly with his former preoccupation with the more lighthearted subject matter of Miss Sweetstory's Bunny-Wunnie books.
  • p. 57 (May 10, 1971). It is almost impossible to convey how huge an impact the movie Love Story had on popular culture when it was released. The book, the movie itself, its theme song, were best-sellers. They were referred to in every media; individuals would talk about it at every occasion. It practically saturated the entertainment space.
  • p. 64 (May 27, 1971). First mention of "Joe Cool". That persona of Snoopy may have had a longer life outside the strip as a merchandising theme (sweaters, posters, etc.) than inside it.
  • p. 87 (July 20, 1971). First appearance of Marcie, without her being named.
  • p. 97 (August 12, 1971). Although commonly despised as a somewhat vulgar feat, crushing an empty can of beer was indeed considered by some a sign of muscular strength. The steel walls of beer cans were then thicker and harder than those of aluminium we have today.
  • p. 107 (September 5, 1971). Many of the first names mentioned by Lucy are from Schulz' own life: "...Lee, and Bill, ..." probably for Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, "...Amy, and Jill, and Meredith, ..." are names of Schulz's children, "...Donna" for Donna Mae Johnson, etc.
  • p. 123 (October 11, 1971). First time Marcie is named.
  • p. 163 (January 15, 1972). First mention of "Peppermint" Patty's full name.
  • p. 174 (February 7, 1972). The original series of Star Trek, featuring starship "Enterprise", had disappointing ratings when it first aired between 1966 and 1969. Through syndication, however, its ratings surged and by 1972 it aired in more than 100 American cities.
  • p. 180 (February 21, 1972). "Another unmarried marriage counselor...": 1972 is the year Schulz separated from his wife. The divorce proceedings completed in 1973.
  • p. 186 (March 3, 1972). "Johnny Horizon" was the rugged, outdoorsy mascot of the Bureau of Land Management in the 1970's. Similar to the more well-known Woodsy the Owl and Smokey the Bear, Johnny Horizon encouraged young people to respect and preserve the environment.
  • p. 193 (March 25, 1972). Lucy is reciting "Tinker, Tailor..." She recited it while skipping rope the first time on June 21, 1963.
  • p. 302 (December 3, 1972). The eighth panel of this Sunday strip references the series of strips from January 22-February 12, 1965, when Snoopy almost marries a beagle he meets ice-skating, but they have to break up when her father does not approve of him. Snoopy’s girlfriend from this broken engagement would continue to be mentioned in strips in the following years.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1973 to 1974 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2009. ISBN 1606992864

  • p. 17 (February 8, 1973). One of the rare occasions, if not the only one, where "Peppermint" Patty does not call Charlie Brown "Chuck."
  • p. 35 (March 24, 1973). "I'm in the alpha state." The early 1970s saw a great amount of media attention and popular interest in the field of electroencephalography. Biofeedback techniques were believed to have a great future helping people alleviate their anxiety or achieve better mental performances.
  • p. 68 (June 7, 1973). The book Jonathan Livingston Seagull achieved its peak popularity in 1972. At the time, it had a considerable impact on popular culture.
  • p. 80 (July 5, 1973). Mad magazine, whose mascot is of course Alfred E. Neuman, was at its peak circulation in 1973 and 1974, just when this strip appeared. Mad had itself featured Peanuts in a Star Trek parody ("Star Blecch") it published in December 1967 (issue #115). In one frame, Snoopy appears as the WWI flying ace floating in space on his doghouse; in another frame, Charlie Brown, also floating in space, is hanging to his kite's thread.
  • p. 93 (August 5, 1973). "Happy birthday, Amy!" Amy is the name of one of Schulz's daughters.
  • p. 130 (October 30, 1973). "Peppermint" Patty forgets her past acquaintance with the Great Pumpkin story. On October 24, 1966, she even declared herself a believer.
  • p. 250 (August 5, 1974). See note on page 93.
  • p. 269 (September 20, 1974). Acupuncture was nearly unknown to the general public before 1970. From then it grew quickly in popularity until, in the mid-1970s, it became common knowledge.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1975 to 1976 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2010. ISBN 1606993453

  • p. 94 (August 4, 1975). Schulz lived with his family in Needles, Ca., from 1929 to 1931. They went there to join his mother's brother Monte Halverson. Her other brother Silas, her sister Ella, and her mother also joined them.[8]
  • p. 207 (April 25, 1976). Today not so well-known because of more advanced wireless communication systems, Citizen's Band (CB) radio became very popular in the mid-1970s. Its users had a notorious way of expressing themselves in coded and slang language. They organized themselves in clubs and many invested considerable time and resources in their hobby. CB radio enthusiasts eventually formed a kind of alternate culture.
  • p. 268 September 13-October 28, 1976 The strip's longest storyline: almost seven weeks.
  • p. 268 September 14 Peppermint Patty is confusing George Washington and presentational election to ophthalmologist and sports. Bunker Hill was a famous battle during the American Revolution, a war that spotlighted Washington.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1977 to 1978 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2010. ISBN 1606993755

  • p. 117 (September 26, 1977). Plains, Georgia is a small town of around 700 people. Its claim to fame in 1977 was that it was the birthplace of Jimmy Carter, who was elected President of the United States a year before.
  • p. 132 (November 1, 1977). "Deprogramming" was often discussed in the American media in the mid-1970s. At the time, some anxiety arose in the population concerning a perception of increased recruiting by fringe cults. Those cults allegedly brainwashed young and weak individuals into leaving their families to follow them. Numerous books and movies were also written on the topics of cults and deprogramming.
  • p. 261 (August 28–29, 1978). How Charlie Brown obtained the Little Red-Haired Girl's phone number is a mystery. She had left Charlie Brown's neighborhood on July 18, 1969, without him knowing at all where she went (see July 17, 1969 and April 30, 1970). After that, Charlie Brown saw her only on a ski trip and at summer camps. In later strips, she is even back in the neighborhood (December 27, 1978) without explanations on exactly when and why she returned.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1979 to 1980 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 1606994387

  • p. 139 (November 20, 1979). Although common today thanks to personal computers, writing in more than one typeface was not generally possible with typewriters. Only high-end typewriters would offer that feature.
  • p. 230 (June 21, 1980). In the United States as in many other countries, the end of the 1970s had seen a new phenomenon that generated much media interest: religious groups and cults supported by strong public relations and marketing strategies. The secular population, as well as Christian churches and individuals that were rather "mainstream" (like Schulz himself), generally disapproved of those organisations. The comments offered in previous strips respectively by the intellectual wing and the street-smart wing of the Peanuts gang epitomize that disapproval.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1981 to 1982 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 1606994719)

  • p. 39 (March 30, 1981). First instance of Marcie calling Charlie Brown "Charles." She will persist in that habit.
  • p. 127 (October 24, 1981). "Psychiatric help: 34 cents." In the late 1970s and early 1980s, price inflation in most western countries surged to peacetime records. In the United States, it soared to 15% per year in 1980, generating considerable anxiety in the population. Lucy's rates followed the trend and increased dramatically in 1981: they were 10 cents on March 15, 34 cents on October 24 and 50 cents on December 16. They returned to their historical level of 5 cents on June 27, 1982.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1983 to 1984 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 1606995235

  • p. 102 (August 24, 1983) As the strip indicates, the French term esprit de l'escalier translates as "wit of the stairway". Schulz used French terms several times during the course of his strip, mainly during its later half, and all of them were authentic.
  • p. 144 (November 29, 1983) The motion picture Flashdance was released in April 1983 in the United States and enjoyed a large success at the box office. Bill Melendez released an animated parody of it (and of other dance films) in April 1984, under the title It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.
  • p. 151 (December 16, 1983) It seems that Sally's script refers to the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", well known in English speaking countries.
  • p. 156 (December 27, 1983) "Snowperson": political correctness in the early 80s had gone quite far in its attempts to erase gender-biased expressions from the common language. At that time, many tried to be gender-neutral to the point of sacrificing clarity, for example in sentences such as "Every man/woman shall don his/her life jacket and report to the steward/stewardess nearest to him/her." Some common nouns disappeared at that time, for example, "fireman" was replaced by "firefighter." In a somewhat related gag, Jim Unger in his cartoon Herman had a salesman telling a customer: "We're living in very strange times, Martha." with in the background a banner saying "Grandperson clocks."[9]
  • p. 193 (March 23, 1984) There is a "Highland Park" and a "Selby Avenue" in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Schulz lived at the corner of Selby and Snelling, where his father's barber shop was also located.
  • p. 220 (May 25, 1984) "Playing trivia": Trivia games started in the early 80s, with Isaac Asimov's Super Quiz possibly being the first of them in 1982. They became very popular by the mid-80s.
  • p. 240 (July 9, 1984) "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was a popular song in early 1984, sung by Cyndi Lauper.
  • p. 255 (August 14, 1984) "Roy Hobbs": Although the novel The Natural, by Bernard Malamud, was released in 1952, the movie based on it was produced and released only in 1984.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1985 to 1986 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books|Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 1606995723

  • p. xi (Foreword by Patton Oswald) "Snoopy even adds a new make-believe character to his repertoire (...) a bowtie-wearing, bowler-topped attorney." That sentence is misleading, as the attorney persona of Snoopy in fact appeared many years before 1985/1986.
  • p. 47 (April 19, 1985) It seems Snoopy is cured of the "weed claustrophobia" that plagued him in 1956. See the strips of October 27, November 3, and November 6 to 9 of that year.
  • p. 94 (August 7, 1985). A "punker" is "a punk rock musician or a devotee of punk rock or punk styles.". They were especially prevalent during the late 70's and 80's.
  • p. 94-95 (August 7, 1985 – August 9, 1985) Although the term "mallies" doesn't actually exist, the type of people Schulz was referring to did. In the 80's, and still today, there are several people who can be possibly referred to as "mallies".
  • p. 97 (August 12, 1985) YUPpies (from "Young Urban Professional") defined the 1980s more than any other social group. Their way of life (expensive tastes and professional ambition) was fueled by the financial and economic optimism of the era and was the subject of many books, movies, and television series (The Bonfire of the Vanities, Family Ties, Wall Street).
  • p. 127-128 (October 23, 1985 – October 25, 1985) "The Lone Eagle", as the first strip of this series explicitly indicates, was Charles Lindbergh, who, as this strip also indicates, made the first nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris. Snoopy's "Lone Beagle" outfit is also his World War I Flying Ace outfit as well.
  • p. 128 (October 26, 1985) Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. The joke is that Rerun's helmet looks like a hockey mask.
  • p. 128 (October 27, 1985) One of the rare instances where an adult's speech appears in Peanuts.
  • p. 131 (November 1, 1985) "Beagle Blaster" refers to ghetto blasters, a 1980's slang term referring to "a large, powerful portable radio, especially as carried and played by a pedestrian or used outdoors in an urban area.".
  • p. 133-134 (November 6, 1985 – November 9, 1985) Halley's Comet, officially designated 1P/Halley, is the best-known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Other naked-eye comets may be brighter and more spectacular, but will appear only once in thousands of years. As this strip series explicitly indicates, Sally has the date at least a month too early, and the comet's actual arrival was on February 1986.
  • p. 170 (February 1, 1986) She has what is known as a ten-speed. A ten speed is "a system of gears having ten forward gear ratios, especially on a bicycle." These types of bikes were particularly popular during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • p. 174 (February 9, 1986) The poems Snoopy writes down are plays on a classic love poem that may be traced at least as far back as to the following lines written in 1590 by Sir Edmund Spenser from his epic The Faerie Queene (Book Three, Canto 6, Stanza 6):
It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
When Titan faire his beames[check spelling] did display,
In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
She bath'd her brest, the boyling heat t'allay;
She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

The version Snoopy is lampooning is the most popular one:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.
  • p. 175 (February 10, 1986) About the political correctness of the 1980s concerning gender bias in language, see also the strip of December 27, 1983.
  • p. 175-176, 178-179 (February 10, 1986 – February 15, 1986, and February 16, 1986 -February 21, 1986) As the series explicitly indicates, the flu Snoopy (as the World War I Flying Ace) catches is the great influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. As it also states, before it ended in 1919, twenty million people had died from the disease. The armistice that was to mark the end of World War I that was mentioned February 19, was also signed during those years of death and disease.
  • p. 178 (February 19, 1986) "The war is over!!" Actually, the war is not over for Snoopy's pilot persona. He will return to fight on October 4, 1986.
  • p. 179 (February 22, 1986) The national anthem of the United States is "The Star-Spangled Banner," of which lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "The Anacreontic Song" (or "To Anacreon in Heaven"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range (tessitura) of one and a half octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover. Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. "Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen," the British national anthem, also served as a de facto anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs would emerge to compete for popularity at public events, among them "The Star-Spangled Banner."
  • p. 184 (March 5, 1986) "Baby on Bike" is a reference to the rising popularity of "Baby on Board" warning signs in the 1980s.
  • p. 185 (March 7, 1986) This strip is a little bit confusing, as at first glance it appears that Snoopy is talking in the last panel. However, on closer inspection, it is revealed that it is in fact the body of Snoopy talking. One of the possible hint to this is the scrunched up line directing the thought balloon to its bearer that only Snoopy's body parts have.
  • p. 192 (March 23, 1986) "Medic" is slang for doctor.
  • p. 195 (March 30, 1986) The definition of the word "ganglion" Linus is referring to is the less known one, meaning "a small lump most commonly on the hand or foot".
  • p. 202-203 (April 15, 1986) What have we done to Fort Zinderneuf?! Fort Zinderneuf is the main setting of the 1966 film Beau Geste and the 1924 novel it is based on.
  • p. 208 (April 28, 1986 – May 3, 1986) The Maypole Dance that is celebrated in U.S. in Secondary or High School dances as part of a May Day celebration are nearly identical to that celebrated in the United Kingdom. Often the Maypole dance will be accompanied by other dances as part of a presentation to the public.The earliest use of the Maypole in America occurred in 1628, where William Bradford, governor of New Plymouth, wrote of an incident where a number of servants, together with the aid of an agent, broke free from their indentured service to create their own colony, setting up a maypole in the center of the settlement, and behaving in such a way as to receive the scorn and disapproval of the nearby colonies, as well as an official officer of the king, bearing patent for the state of Massachusetts. The May Queen or Queen of May is a term which has two distinct but related meanings, as a mythical figure and as a holiday personification. This series is referring to the latter, the May Queen who is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolize purity and usually a tiara or crown. Her duty is to begin the May Day celebrations. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech before the dancing begins. Certain age groups dance round a Maypole celebrating youth and the spring time.
  • p. 226 (June 9, 1985) This the first appearance of Lydia.
  • p. 247 (July 29, 1986) Maynard is misquoting the Scripture Luke 10:7 (The laborer is worthy of his hire) as Luke 10:4.
  • p. 252 (August 10, 1986) Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Franck, Lehar, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Schubert, and Gershwin were all famous composers.
  • p. 253 (August 12, 1986) Buck Beagle in the 25th century is a parody of the famous 1930s comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," which also was a favorite of Schulz's as a youth.
  • p. 254 (August 16, 1986) Joe Garagiola is an American former catcher in Major League Baseball who later became an announcer and television host, popular for his colorful personality. He was well known for being one of the regular panelists of The Today Show on NBC for many years. He also happened to be a good friend of Schulz's.
  • p. 258 Fort Zinderneuf See annotation on pages 202-203
  • p. 263, 265-266, 268, 289, 292, 301 (September 4, 1986 – September 6, 1986, September 8, 1986, September 13, 1986, September 15, 1986 – September 17, 1986, November 5, 1986, November 10, 1986, and December 3, 1986) Tapioca Pudding is a satirical remark on runaway licensing, and her name is a likely parody on Strawberry Shortcake, as both of them are named after a dessert item.
  • p. 274 (October 1, 1986) The first balls were made of natural materials, such as an inflated pig bladder, sometimes inside a leather cover, which has given rise to the slang term "pigskin". Modern balls are designed by teams of engineers to exacting specifications, with rubber or plastic bladders, and often with plastic covers. Various leagues and games use different balls, though they all have one of the following basic shapes:

| a sphere: used in Association football and Gaelic football | a prolate spheroid | either with rounded ends: used in the rugby codes and Australian football | or with more pointed ends: used in American football and Canadian football

The precise shape and construction of footballs is typically specified as part of the rules and regulations. The oldest football still in existence, which is thought to have been made circa 1540, was discovered in the roof of Stirling Castle, Scotland, in 1981. The ball is made of leather (possibly from a deer) and a pig's bladder. It has a diameter of between 14–16 cm (5.5–6.3 in), weighs 125 g (4.4 oz.) and is currently on display at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling.

  • p. 277 (October 8, 1986) A zamboni is an ice resurfacer, which is a vehicle used to clean and smooth the surface of an ice sheet, usually in an ice rink. The first ice resurfacer was developed by Frank Zamboni in 1949 in the city of Paramount, California. Zamboni /zæmˈboʊni/ is an internationally registered trademark, though the term is often used as a generic colloquialism for any ice resurfacer.
  • p. 283 (October 22, 1986) Fog is a 1916 poem by Carl Sandburg that reads:
THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
  • p. 293 I'll eat first, and then I'll call the Humane Society! The Humane Society is a group that aims to stop human or animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons, although in many countries, it is now used mostly for societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs).
  • p. 301 (December 3, 1986) This the last appearance of Tapioca Pudding.
  • p. 308, 310 (December 19, 1986 – December 20, 1986, and December 22, 1986, and December 24, 1986) This unnamed kid closely resembles Shermy, a character who last appeared in the year 1976.


Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1987 to 1988 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2013. ISBN 1606996347

  • p. 4 (January 10, 1987) Although it has almost completely disappeared today, "Kilroy was here" used to be an ubiquitous graffiti in the North American urban landscape. Its original meaning is quite obscure.
  • p. 13 (January 29, 1987) "I was born in October." This is not implausible, as the first appearance of Linus is on September 19, 1952, and he then appears a bit younger than one year old. In any case, Peanuts characters are known to age much more slowly than real-world people.
  • p. 15 (February 2, 1987) The chosen Valedictorian is usually the student with the highest ranking among his or her graduating class. Salutatorian is an academic title given in the United States to the second highest graduate of the entire graduating class of a specific discipline.
  • p. 34 (March 19, 1987) Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Bartley are regulars of the golf club. They used to hire Peppermint Patty and Marcie as caddies (see for example the strip of July 17, 1983, The Complete Peanuts 1983 to 1984, p. 86.)
  • p. 183 (February 29, 1988) First three-panel daily strip.
  • p. 227 (June 12, 1988) 1988 is the year when Fax machines became known at large to the general public. They were then expensive and rather big, so they were considered as being primarily office machines.
  • p. 231 (June 21, 1988) After years of legal arguments, the estate of Margaret Mitchell finally announced on February 3, 1987, that a sequel to Gone with the wind would be authorized.[10] The news was a sensation, and generated feverish interest and speculation in the public. On April 26, 1988, the project was formally launched when Warner Books purchased the rights to the sequel for US$4.94 million.[11] It was finally published in September 1991, under the title Scarlett, by author Alexandra Ripley.
  • p. 249 (August 2, 1988) Although nearly inescapable today, answering machines became affordable to the general public only in 1988. Before that, they were not even common in an office environment: rather, the secretary of a department had the charge of receiving calls and taking messages.
  • p. 291 (November 8, 1988) Tuesday, November 8, 1988, was a Presidential election day in the United States. George H.W. Bush won against Michael Dukakis. That Sally rooted for Abraham Lincoln is not unexpected, as he is often referred to with reverence by various characters in Peanuts. He must be the favorite president of the gang.

References[edit | edit source]


  1. Wilson, Kenneth (September 1967). "A Visit with Charles Schulz". Christian Herald. 
  2. a b Schulz, Charles M. (1975). Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0030150817. 
  3. Fischer, John (2003-02-03). "In Praise of Flannelgraph". Prison Fellowship Ministries. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  4. "National Library Week Fact Sheet". American Library Association. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  5. Conrad, Barnaby (1967-04-16). "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Schulz". The New York Times Magazine. 
  6. Bang, Derrick (2007-04-29). "alt.comics.peanuts FAQ" (plaintext). Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  7. "An Interview with Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz". Interviewer: Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose. PBS. 1997-05-09. 20:30 minutes in.
  8. Michaelis, David (2007). Schulz and Peanuts. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-621393-4. 
  9. Unger, Jim (1984). Herman the Fourth Treasury. New York: Andrews and McMeel. p. 186. ISBN 0-8362-2053-6. 
  10. "'Gone with the wind' sequel authorized". The Argus Press. 3 February 1987. 
  11. "'Gone with the wind' sequel brings 4.94 million bid". The Miami News. 26 April 1988.