U.S. # 5028
2015 49¢ Charlie Brown, Linus & Christmas Tree
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charles Schulz’ comic strip Peanuts had become a worldwide phenomenon by the mid-60s. After the Peanuts gang was pictured on the cover of Time Magazine, Coca-Cola commissioned a Christmas special starring the characters.
A Charlie Brown Christmas was written and animated in just six months. The script was simple, sparse, and heavily influenced by Schulz’ background. Deeply religious, he wanted to focus on what he believed the “true meaning of Christmas” to be. Schulz then added secular themes taken from his Minnesota childhood, including a school play, falling snow, and ice-skating.
Professional child actors were only used for the voices of Charlie Brown and Linus. Schulz convinced the producers to use regular children for the remaining characters. Studio employees took tape recorders home and had their children audition for the part. Gibberish was recorded for Snoopy and sped up to make his unique sound. Schulz also resisted the use of a laugh track, which was widely used during the ‘60s.
Executives previewing the special thought it was terrible. Only one animator deemed it “the best special... this show is going to run for a hundred years.” Happily, A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a holiday tradition for over 50 years – and is likely to see 50 more!
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.