For more than 50 years, "Peanuts" delighted newspaper readers and fans on the big screen alike. Here are some things you may not know about the "longest story ever told."
"Peanuts" published 17,897 strips between Oct. 2, 1950, and Feb. 14, 2000. It is "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being," according to Robert Thompson of Syracuse University.
At its height, "Peanuts" was seen by 355 million readers in 75 countries. More than 2,600 newspapers ran the strip in 21 different languages.
Actor and producer Bill Melendez "voiced" Snoopy in more than 50 movies and dozens of television episodes between 1965 and 2006. His last "bark" as Snoopy was in 2006's "He's a Bully, Charlie Brown," when Melendez was 89.
The Apollo 10 lunar module was named Snoopy, and the command module was named Charlie Brown. Snoopy also became the official mascot of aerospace safety after the Apollo I fire.
Despite Lucy's cruel habit of pulling the ball away at the last second, Charlie Brown managed to kick a football at least twice in 50 years: Once, in a 1956 strip where Schroeder held the ball, and again in 1981 during "It's Magic, Charlie Brown."
Although his dog, Snoopy, is a flying ace, Charlie Brown can't even seem to fly a kite. Throughout the series he bemoans all of his kites being lost to a "Kite-Eating Tree." In a 1958 strip, he briefly flew a kite – before it burst into flames.
Snoopy was a silent character for his first two years, but gradually became more expressive. Snoopy has only ever "spoken" twice: His thoughts were verbalized in voice over in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and "Snoopy!!! The Musical."
The plane Snoopy imagines his doghouse turns into while a WWI flying ace is a Sopwith Camel, a British single-seat biplane introduced on the Western Front in 1917.
Charles Schulz wrote and drew every "Peanuts" strip from beginning to end, even in later years when he began suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Kathy Steinberg, the child actor who voiced Sally, almost had to be replaced at the last minute because of a loose tooth. She was rushed into the studio to finish recording her lines. The story goes that her tooth fell out as she said the last word.
Young viewers felt so sorry for Charlie Brown in "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" that they sent in Valentine's cards and candy to the Peanuts studio for years, so that Charlie would finally receive some.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas," released in 1965, was the first animated Peanuts special. It's also the second-longest running Christmas special on American television, coming in right behind "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which debuted in 1964.
When Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas in "A Charlie Brown Christmas," he's reciting Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible. The show was one of the first animated specials to use Biblical references.