History of Franklin
Shortly after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Los Angeles schoolteacher, Harriet Glickman, wrote to Charles Schulz with a request that he consider creating a new character, believing that Peanuts could help influence American attitudes on race.
“In thinking over the areas of the mass media which are of tremendous importance in shaping the unconscious attitudes of our kids, I felt that something could be done through our comic strips…” —Harriet Glickman, 1968
Because of her correspondence with Schulz, Franklin was introduced to fans in the summer of 1968 and became an important member of the Peanuts Gang.
Beginning on July 29, 1968, Schulz presented a multi-day storyline placing Charlie Brown and his sister Sally at the beach—setting the stage to introduce a new character. Schulz saw the beach as a neutral place where children from every neighborhood could meet and interact; building sandcastles and throwing beach balls. This was the ideal environment for Charlie Brown to meet Franklin for the very first time.
Franklin first appears in this strip from July 31, 1968. He and Charlie Brown have an immediate, warmhearted friendship that lasts throughout the duration of their time together.
"I said to my children, ‘This is a lesson…one person can make a difference—a very little difference, not earth-shaking, but it’s a difference." —Harriet Glickman, 2014
Peanuts' first black character, Franklin debuted on July 31, 1968.
Stamp will be issued on Friday, September 30 in Santa Rosa, CA
Peanuts: Celebrating Franklin Armstrong and Black Artists at Comic-Con
Harriet Glickman interview about about Franklin
How the first black Peanuts character started
"The Armstrong Project"
Howard University and Hampton University
In 2022, Peanuts Worldwide launched “The Armstrong Project” establishing $200,000 in endowments at Howard University in Washington, DC, and Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, which includes an annual scholarship to students studying either arts, communications, animation, or entertainment. Each school received $100,000 to establish endowments.