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Charles Schulz, Snoopy, and D-Day

 

Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy van Pelt and the other “Peanuts” characters, entered the 1990s as an elder statesman in American popular culture…

 

On June 6, 1993, Schulz drew a comic strip that had little visual relationship to anything that had previously appeared in “Peanuts.” In three grim panels, the cartoonist depicted the eerie silence at the outset of the D-Day invasion. One panel looked atop the beachhead at the Nazi bunkers, where hidden soldiers were ready to fire down on the Allied troops below. The next panel surveyed a Higgins boat carrying a crew of faceless soldiers to a murky landing site. And the final panel revealed Snoopy dressed as a G.I. crawling up onto the beach at low tide. The lone words on the page read: “June 6, 1944, To Remember.”

 

 

 

The following year, the 50th anniversary of D-Day, Schulz made sure that as many people as possible would see his tribute, whether it was on the front page or not. In a week-long [Monday to Friday] series, Snoopy acted out various events in Operation Overlord, as the neighborhood children called Charlie Brown to complain about the mess the dog was making in their yards.

 

 

In the following years, Schulz’s tributes became more formalized…



above Peanut D-Day strips from 1996 and 1997

 

 

The D-Day tribute in 1998 came on Memorial Day weekend when Schulz delivered something highly unusual in “Peanuts”: an adaptation of a famous historical photograph. In the colorized photograph, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the troops of the 82nd Airborne before they set out for France. Snoopy, dressed in battle gear, joined the soldiers, gazing up at Eisenhower as he spoke.

Schulz later revealed that he received more fan response to that tribute than any other comic strip he had drawn.

 

Blake Scott Ball, author of the forthcoming “Charlie Brown’s America: The Popular Politics of Peanuts,”
details the connection of Charles Schulz and Snoopy with D-Day for The Washington Post.

 

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
June/6/2019
@ 12:10 pm

The June 6, 1996 Peanuts D-Day related strip has been rerun every June 6 for the last 6 years (Including recently on June 6, 2019 – The same day of the 75th. anniversary of D-Day).

#2 Pat mcdonsld
June/8/2019
@ 9:06 am

We love all things Snoopy! We especially love seeing historical events through his eyes.

#3 Ed Bradstreet
June/8/2019
@ 9:21 am

I applaud that you’ve brought out Charles Schulz’s tributes to D-Day, but I wish to point out an error from your editors. They mistook the unit in the Eisenhower photo as the 82nd Airborne, (All American,) but in fact it’s the 101st Airborne, (The Screaming Eagles.)

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