U.S. # 5023
2015 49¢ Ice Skating
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Introduced in 1950, Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comic strip featured unusually complex young characters. Although the oldest is only around the age of eight, nearly all have adult traits. The trailblazing series touched on current events and introduced new personalities to the Peanuts gang to reflect our changing society.
Shortly after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, a black character named Franklin debuted in Peanuts. Schulz became convinced that the addition of Franklin would help children see that it was normal to form friendships with others of different races. Franklin, who meets Charlie Brown while rescuing his beach ball from the water, mentions his father is serving in Vietnam.
Charlie Brown’s baseball team was a decade ahead of its time when it included girls. In one special, Charlie Brown turns down a lucrative sponsorship because it would have eliminated the girls.
Because he was easier to animate than the human characters, Snoopy was chosen for many of the trendier themes. Months before the 1969 lunar landing, Snoopy appeared as The World Famous Astronaut. He was Joe Cool in 1971, followed by The World Famous Disco Dancer in 1978 and Joe Preppy a few years later. Ever hip and trendy, Snoopy even named his bird Woodstock after the famous festival.
Each of the Charlie Brown Christmas stamps features a still taken from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: October 1, 2015 – 1 day before the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip
First Day City: Santa Rosa, CA – at the Charles M. Schulz Museum
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in double-sided booklets 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 50,000,000 stamps
In addition to marking the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip, these stamps marked the 50th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. This set was the second issue to honor the Peanuts. The first came in 2007 (#3507) and pictured Snoopy atop his doghouse dressed as a World War I fighter ace.
These stamps were also issued for National Stamp Collecting Month and continued the long tradition of non-religious Christmas stamps. The very first U.S. Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.