A Kid friendly Website about 2 aspects of the Great Depression
The Little Orphan Annie comic strip cheered up many Americans during the Great Depression. The comic was a daily comic strip, made by Harold Gray, who was thought to be the first American cartoonist that used his writing to express a political opinion, all thanks to Annie. The comic made its debut on August 5th, 1924 in the New York Daily News. The comic follows a plucky young girl named Annie, her dog Sandy, and her benefactor (caretaker) Oliver, Daddy Warbucks. With these loving characters, and the political aspect of the strip, the comic attracted adult readers with political commentary. These comments targeted organized labor, the New Deal and communism. The comic continued to thrive, until Harold Gray's death in in 1938. Assistant artists drew the artists in a panic to continue the strip's fame. They actually, for a time, reran "classic" strips. The strip's fame declined as time went on. As more movies and adaptations were made, the strip was narrowed down to only run in 20 newspapers, until it was canceled on July 13th, 2010. Annie will continue to entertain generation after generation because of her big heart, can-do attitude and her lovable pluckiness.
The name Little Orphan Annie came from the poem Little Orphan Annie by James Whitcomb Riley.
In the comics, Junior Commandos helped throughout the neighborhood to aid soldiers in the war by doing odd jobs so people could buy war bonds. In less than a month, the Junior Commandos became a real group in the United States. Children across the country became Junior Commandos. It was reported that in just a few months, there were over 20,000 Junior Commandos.
Little Annie promoted Ovaltine, a brand of milk flavoring made of malt extract, sugar, and whey. In the movie A Christmas Story, the main character listens in on a Little Orphan Annie broadcast (see Annie Adaptations) and decodes the secret message: "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." !
When Gray first thought of the idea of an orphan comic strip, he originally had a boy be the main character! He was named Little Orphan Otto!