“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The cartoonist who gave us that famous quote was born on this day in 1913, in Philadelphia.
Walt Kelly worked as a Disney animator before launching Pogo in 1948. The comic strip was set in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. It ran nationally for 25 years and was the most popular comic strip in America in the 1950s.
The title character was Pogo, a possum who was surrounded by other animals that lived in the Okefenokee and who all spoke in a broken Southern dialect. A turtle named Churchy Lafemme, Beauregard the hound dog, Porkypine, and Miz Mamzelle Hepzibah, a French skunk. They were all humorous representations of well–known Southern stereotypes.
The satiric comic strip broke new ground by commenting on political and social issues. The character simple J. Malarkey lampooned anti–Communist Senator Joseph Mccarthy. Other targets included Southern segregationists and the Vietnam War.
Ware County’s annual Pogofest still celebrates Walt Kelly’s unique creation, quite a feat for a man born in Philadelphia on August 25, 1913, Today in Georgia History.