Quite frankly, ‘Peanuts’ character Franklin had a major cultural impact

Charles Schulz decided to make a historic addition to his legendary comic strip in 1968

Photo by Paramount/Getty Images
Photo by Paramount/Getty Images (Getty)

If there were ever a list of fictional beach meetings that made significant cultural impacts, then this would likely be on it.

On July 31, 1968, in the famous “Peanuts” comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown and Franklin met on a beach.

But when Franklin retrieved Charlie Brown’s lost beach ball, it was more than just two friends meeting for the first time.

The appearance of Franklin broke a color barrier on the popular comic strip, considering it marked the introduction of the first Black character to Schulz’s legendary creation.

The letter that started it all

In April of that year, Schulz had received a letter from a school teacher in Los Angeles named Harriet Glickman, who suggested that Schulz add a Black character to the strip, according to the website linked above.

Racial tension was running high back then, with riots, desegregation in schools across the nation and the assassination that year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Schulz wrote back to Glickman, saying he appreciated the letter and suggestion, and he liked the idea, but was concerned he would be patronizing.


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