Cartoon History

Events in Film & TV

  • 1754-05-09 1st newspaper cartoon in America-divided snake "Join or Die"
  • 1852-03-13 Uncle Sam cartoon figure made its debut in the New York Lantern weekly

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1874-11-07 1st cartoon depicting elephant as Republican Party symbol, by Thomas Nast

Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast
Political Cartoonist
Thomas Nast
  • 1875-09-11 1st newspaper cartoon strip
  • 1895-10-02 1st cartoon comic strip is printed in a newspaper
  • 1897-12-12 Rudolph Dirks' 1st Katzenjammer cartoon strip in NY Journal
  • 1906-04-06 1st animated cartoon copyrighted
  • 1908-08-17 Projection in Paris of the very first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie realized by Émile Cohl
  • 1913-06-12 "Dachshund" by Pathe Freres, early animated cartoon, released
  • 1918-08-15 1st full length cartoon (Sinking of Lusitania)
  • 1919-06-17 "Barney Google" cartoon strip, by Billy De Beck, premieres
  • 1919-08-23 "Gasoline Alley" cartoon strip premieres in Chicago Tribune
  • 1922-05-21 "On the Road to Moscow" is 1st cartoon to receive a Pulitzer Prize
  • 1923-10-16 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1926-02-08 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • 1928-11-18 Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie" released, first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon
  • 1929-02-05 Jimmy Hatlo's "They'll Do It Every Time" cartoon debuts in San Francisco
  • 1930-08-09 Betty Boop debuts in Max Fleischer's animated cartoon Dizzy Dishes
  • 1930-08-16 The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks.
  • 1932-01-10 "Pete the Tramp" cartoon strip by C D Russell debuts
  • 1932-11-18 "Flowers & Trees" receives 1st Academy Award for a cartoon
  • 1933-09-29 Little King, Cartoon Character, by Von Beuren, debut
  • 1934-06-09 1st appearance of Donald Duck in a cartoon, "The Wise Little Hen"
  • 1936-02-07 Felix the Cat, animated film released by Van Beuren Studios licensed from Otto Messmer
  • 1936-02-17 The world's first superhero, The Phantom, a cartoon strip by Lee Falk, makes his first appearance in comics.
  • 1937-04-17 Debut of cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer J Fudd & Petunia Pig
  • 1937-04-28 1st animated cartoon electric sign displayed (NYC)
  • 1939-06-10 MGM cartoon character Barney Bear debuts

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-02-10 "Tom & Jerry" cartoon created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera debut by MGM

Animator William Hanna
William Hanna
Animator Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera
  • 1940-06-19 "Brenda Starr", 1st cartoon strip by a woman, appears in Chicago
  • 1940-06-30 "Brenda Starr" cartoon strip, by Dale Messick, 1st appears for the Chicago Tribune Syndicate

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941-07-19 Tom and Jerry first appear under their own names in cartoon "The Midnight Snack" by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Animator Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera
Animator William Hanna
William Hanna
  • 1945-01-05 Pepe LePew debuts in Warner Bros cartoon "Odor-able Kitty"
  • 1949-05-27 Martin Canine, cartoon character, spoofs Martin Kane
  • 1953-05-28 Premier of 1st animated 3-D cartoon in Technicolor-"Melody"
  • 1960-02-19 Bil Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts
  • 1963-09-28 "King Leonardo" cartoon last airs on NBC-TV
  • 1963-09-28 "Tennessee Tuxedo" cartoon debuts on CBS-TV
  • 1964-12-18 "The Pink Panther" cartoon series premieres (Pink Phink)
  • 1965-09-25 Beatle cartoon show begins in US
  • 1980-10-04 ABC premiere of Saturday futuristic fantasy cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian"
  • 1981-09-12 "The Smurfs" animated cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera first broadcasts in North America
  • 1988-06-25 Roger Rabbit Cartoon Character debuts in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
  • 1990-04-21 "Cartoon All Stars to Rescue" shown on all 4 TV networks
  • 1992-09-28 "Dog City" cartoon debuts on Fox-TV
  • 1992-10-01 Cartoon Cable Network premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994-10-03 Gary Larson, announces he is retiring from doing "Far Side" cartoon

Cartoonist Gary Larson
Gary Larson
  • 1997-02-09 Fox cartoon series "Simpsons" airs 167th episode the longest-running animated series in cartoon history
  • 1997-09-01 Cartoon Channel premieres in Japan

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • 1905-08-21 Isadore I Friz Freleng, animator (Warner Bros cartoons), born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1911-12-25 Burne Hogarth, strip-cartoon artist
  • 1919-12-14 Felix the Cat, anthropomorphic cartoon character created in the silent film era by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer
  • 1925-02-17 Fritz Behrendt, German/Dutch cartoon character (The Slogan)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1926-08-14 René Goscinny, French cartoonist (Asterix), born in Paris, France (d. 1977)

Author and Cartoonist René Goscinny
Author and Cartoonist
René Goscinny
  • 1928-11-18 Mickey Mouse, cartoon strip
  • 1933-12-01 Fujiko F. Fujio, Japanese cartoon artist (d. 1996)
  • 1942-11-21 Tweety Bird, cartoon character
  • 1945-01-06 Pepe Le Pew, cartoon skunk (Au Dorable Kitty)

Deaths in Film & TV

  • 1991-12-03 Alex Graham, British cartoonstrip artist (Fred Basset), dies
  • 1995-05-26 Isadore "Friz" Freling, cartoon director (Sylvester), dies at 88
  • 1996-01-28 Burne Hogarth, strip-cartoon artist, dies at 84
  • 1996-11-23 George Nicholas, cartoon animator, dies at 85