The world celebrates Good Grief Day on November 26 every year to honor the life and the legacy of one of America’s most revered, legendary cartoonists Charles M. Schulz. Schulz is best known as the author of the “Peanuts” comic strip, and his stories and characters have brought boundless delight to the globe. The fact that his characters — Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the gang — have withstood the test of time demonstrates how influential these legendary characters have had on global pop culture.
History of Good Grief Day
Named after the iconic Charlie Brown catchphrase, Good Grief Day celebrates the life and work of the immovable Charles M. Schulz. Schulz was born on November 26, 1922, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His interest in the arts was evident during his upbringing, as he would spend his days taking in the works of Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth, while also developing a penchant for cartoons. As a child, he would draw dozens upon dozens of cartoons, inspired by either the cartoons he admired or the world around him.
Growing up, he aspired to be a cartoonist, and at the age of 15, he sent one of his drawings to the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!” weekly column, which became his first published cartoon — he knew from then on that this was his life.
After returning from military service in Europe in 1945, he would further develop his career as a cartoonist, scoring his weekly series in 1947. That cartoon was “Li’l Folks,” which would be the predecessor of his magnum opus. “Li’l Folks” would later draw the attention of mega publishers United Features Syndicate in 1950, who asked him to develop a new weekly comic strip. Thus, on October 2, 1950, “Peanuts” was born. The iconic series would later become the longest-running comic strip in history — running until Schulz’s death in 2000.
“Peanuts” is considered to be one of the greatest cartoon series in history, lauded for its simple yet complex humor, and its philosophical and psychological social commentary. Multiple “Peanuts” television and film iterations were made, with the most notable being the 1965 T.V. special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which continues to be run in syndication today.
From the eccentric beagle, Snoopy, and his worrywart owner Charlie Brown to the colorful range of supporting characters such as the logical Woodstock, the antagonistic Lucy van Pelt, and the spunky Peppermint Patty, Schulz’s creations have brought laughter and joy to millions around the world.
Good Grief Day timeline
Charles M. Schulz is born in Minnesota.
Schulz publishes the weekly one-panel strip "Li'l Folks" in the “St. Paul Pioneer Press.”
"Peanuts" is first published.
Schulz, aged 77, passes away of colon cancer, bringing "Peanuts" to an end.
The Charles Schulz Museum opens in Santa Rosa, California.
Good Grief Day FAQs
What does it mean when someone says, “Good Grief”?
“Good Grief!” typically means to express surprise or dismay at a situation, person, or feeling. The first recorded instance of the phrase’s use was in a 1937 Raymond Chandler short story and was later adopted by Schulz as Charlie Brown’s signature catchphrase.
What is Charlie Brown Day?
There are no shortages of holidays and tributes to “Peanuts.” Charlie Brown Day is a separate day held every February 2 to celebrate Charlie Brown as himself.
What other cartoons inspired Charles Schulz?
During his childhood, Schulz would frequently draw popular cartoon characters such as Popeye. Other comic strips that influenced him include Milt Caniff’s “Terry and the Pirates,” Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner,” and the works of Clare Briggs.
Good Grief Day Activities
There is no better way to celebrate Good Grief Day than picking up a copy of "Peanuts.” Available in various published forms, "Peanuts" is a cartoon that simply must be read to appreciate its qualities.
Watch the many "Peanuts" films and T.V. specials
Curl up and put on one of the iconic "Peanuts" television specials. Specials such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" have since achieved their own legendary statuses and are considered to be some of the most beautifully written cartoons of all time — they'll be sure to move you.
Wear your "Peanuts" merchandise proudly
Snoopy is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world. If you have a piece of Snoopy merchandise, wear it proudly today, as a way to express your love for and gratitude for Schulz's work.
5 Surprising Facts About “Peanuts”
"Peanuts" had a global impact
During its original run, "Peanuts" was published in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 335 million across 75 countries.
His inspirations were at arms' reach
Growing up, one of Schulz's favorite subjects to draw was his black-and-white dog Spike, who had an eccentric personality.
Schulz didn't come up with the title
Schulz honestly disliked the title "Peanuts,” as he felt the name didn't represent the stories he wanted to tell.
He knew who he was writing for
No adults are ever featured in "Peanuts" as Schulz wanted to write solely from the perspectives of children.
Schulz projected himself onto his characters
Schulz based Charlie Brown's personality on his own, while Snoopy's was ‘what he wanted to be.’
Why We Love Good Grief Day
It celebrates a great man
"Peanuts" celebrated the wildness of children's imaginations and depicted a wholesome world that was the antithesis of the real world's harmful atmosphere. Schulz effectively created a world that people can escape to when reality became a bit too unbearable. Thus, Schulz's wholesome universe acted as a comfortable blanket for many. Good Grief Day celebrates the man who made that universe a reality.
His work transcends borders
There are no words that can correctly express how significant Schulz's magnum opus has become in global pop culture. "Peanuts" peerless writing and interesting personalities have managed to transcend cultures with its wholesome humor. One does not need to speak English to get the gist of the strip's messages, and that is a major feat in itself.
Schulz's characters are simply irresistible
Who can resist Snoopy's cute smile, Charlie Brown's adorable — yet relatable — anxiety, or Schroeder's musical genius? The moment you smile when you look at Schulz's characters is when you know that they have secured a place in your heart.
Good Grief Day dates