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Timeline – 1964 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 15, 1964.

Beetle’s complaint in this classic Sunday page from 1964 is the central theme of the strip. “There is nothing in the world lower than a private in the army,” he says in the fifth panel. Millions of readers identify with Beetle as the quintessential low man on the totem pole. Everyone has a job to do, a role to play, and has to be subservient to authority in some form. Even General Halftrack, who is a one-star general, has officers above him he has to answer to.
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Timeline – 1962 Part 2

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, March 4, 1962.

“What if women ran the Army,” is the question of the day in this fanciful page. General Halftrack’s musings on the subject are contained within “cumulus dream balloons” in panels #5 through #9.

Although the male creators of the strip were probably trying to pay tribute to the nurturing qualities of the fairer sex, this gag would definitely be considered sexist by today’s standards. It was a few years before the modern women’s movement began to change minds about the roles they could and should play in society. The jokes are more reflective of the 1950s when men expected the gals to know their place.
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General Amos T. Halftrack

 

HalftrackHead2As a leader General Halftrack couldn’t lead a cub scout to a candy store, but he is one of Mort Walker’s favorite characters.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, May 5, 1955.

Beetle Bailey daily strip, May 5, 1955.

“In the beginning I put a lot of my own feelings and experiences into the Beetle character,” Mort remembered in The Best of Beetle Bailey. “As time wore on I discovered I was relating more to the General and now I’m coming up with a lot more gags about him as a result.”
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