February 13th in history:
American painter Grant Wood was born in Iowa on February 13th, 1891. Wood created the famous 1930 painting “American Gothic,” showing a farmer and his daughter standing outside their house.
Another Midwestern artist, Charles Schulz, achieved fame and fortune drawing Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the other “Peanuts” characters. Schulz chose to stop drawing the comic strip after 50 years, and coincidentally died the day before the last original “Peanuts” cartoon appeared in newspapers on February 13th, 2000.
And Jesse James and his gang drew their guns and held up a Midwestern bank (in Liberty, Missouri) on February 13th, 1866. It’s said to be the first armed robbery ever committed in the U.S. during peace-time.
October 2 in history:
“Good ol’ Charlie Brown…How I hate him!” That was the punchline for the first “Peanuts” comic strip that appeared in newspapers on October 2nd, 1950. Charles Schulz wrote and drew the adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends until retiring just before his death 50 years later.
Cartoonist Murat “Chic” Young created the long-running comic strip “Blondie,” and Chick Young was the name of William “Bud” Abbott’s character in the monster movie parody “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” Abbott was born October 2nd, 1895, exactly five years after the birth of another comedian whose career lasted from vaudeville to TV, Julius “Groucho” Marx.
Sometimes funny, often scary, or just weird. Those words could describe two classic TV anthology shows that both premiered on October 2nd: “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” in 1955, and Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” in 1959.