69 years later, we still love Snoopy and the rest of the ‘Peanuts’ gang | TribLIVE.com
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69 years later, we still love Snoopy and the rest of the ‘Peanuts’ gang

Mary Pickels
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Tribune-Review file
He seems to fall for it every time. Poor Charlie Brown has been trying for decades to kick a football held by the mean Lucy in the comic strip "Peanuts."
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Tribune-Review file
The "Peanuts" gang’s television Christmas show remains a cherished holiday tradition for generations of families.
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AP Photos
A Charlie Brown balloon floats above Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City in 2016. The "Peanuts" comic strip is now 69 years old.
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Tribune-Review file
Charles Schulz’s last Sunday "Peanuts" comic strip appeared in newspapers on Feb. 13, 2000. Schulz, 77, who had written, drawn, colored and lettered every "Peanuts" strip for almost 50 years, died in in his sleep on Feb. 12.

“Peanuts,” the comic strip full of relatable characters for most of us, turns 69 today.

In nearly 70 years, multiple generations have come to love and continue to love the story of a boy, his dog Snoopy, his friends and a little bird called Woodstock.

Everyone has a know-it-all like Lucy in their lives.

Most of us have pined over a little (red-haired) girl or boy at some point in our lives.

Hopefully, most of us have not had the experience of a trick or treat bag filled with rocks, or a “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” — pretty self-explanatory if you’ve found more needles on your tree skirt than on your tree.

According to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, the beloved cartoon creator’s only goal was to be a cartoonist.

He sees Charlie Brown as “a caricature of the average person,” Schulz notes on the site, adding that most people are more familiar with losing than winning. Schulz died at 77 on Feb. 12, 2000, from complications of colon cancer, according to schulzmuseum.org. The final Sunday “Peanuts” comics strip was published the next day.

The dog lovers among us can relate to Charlie Brown’s devotion to his beagle, Snoopy.

While autumn and Halloween play big roles in the “Peanuts” gang’s lives, the preceding season’s end makes them a bit mournful.

For Charlie Brown, in particular, holidays can be challenging. But with a little help from his friends, he somehow finds the true meaning of Thanksgiving, even a non-traditional one.

And of Christmas.

The characters remain relevant, perhaps, because so many of the characters and scenarios are based on real life, according to pbs.org. Turns out, Schulz had his own little red-haired girl, and the name Snoopy was based on Schulz’s mother’s suggestion for a future family dog.

His art somehow makes every day dramas palatable, even humorous, populating his comic strip with characters who, 69 years later, still make us laugh.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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