50 years ago today, a beloved Christmas tradition began: Families first gathered in their living rooms to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when it premiered on December 9, 1965.

A half-century later, the animated TV special is still remembered for the unbeatable dance moves on display by Charles Schulz’ characters, Vince Guaraldi’s widely recognizable jazz score, the now-iconic image of Charlie Brown’s sad little Christmas tree, and the sweet story about Charlie Brown attempting to direct the gang’s play and learning the true meaning of Christmas.

ABC will celebrated the big anniversary with the retrospective “It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!” hosted by Kristen Bell. The retrospective aired at the end of November and will air again on the network on Thursday, December 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


Other notable December 9 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1962: The debut studio album of The Supremes, “Meet the Supremes,” was released.

• 1974: George Harrison released his first album on his Dark Horse label, entitled “Dark Horse.”

• 1977: “The Carpenters At Christmas” special aired on ABC.

• 1983: “Scarface” opened in theaters.

• 1989: Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It topped the chart for two weeks.

• 2000: U2 performed “Beautiful Day” and “Elevation” in their first-ever appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

• 2005: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Brokeback Mountain” opened in theaters.

Birthdays: “Shakespeare in Love” actress Judi Dench (turns 81 today), “Spartacus” actor Kirk Douglas (99), “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman (53), “The Big Bang Theory” actor Simon Helberg (35), “Dallas” actor Jesse Metcalfe (37)

An enthusiast of time travel stories, film scores, avocados and Charades, Emily Rome is an alumna of Loyola Marymount University and a native of beautiful Washington State. Emily’s writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyNRome.