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Kiss Me Day

Kiss Me Day, also known as First Kiss Day, commemorates Popeye's first kiss with Olive Oyl. Some sources claim today marks the date of Popeye and Olive Oyl's first on-screen kiss, where Olive Oyl said "My hero" after kissing Popeye, but that is not the case. That happened in Private Eye Popeye, which was released in November of 1954. The first kiss between Popeye and Olive Oyl actually occurred in a comic strip on August 27, 1929, and was followed by Olive Oyl exclaiming, "Oh. Excuse me Popeye—I imagined you were my lover."

On December 19, 1919, E.C. Segar began the comic strip Thimble Theatre in the New York Journal, which starred Olive Oyl and Harold Hamgravy. It wasn't until January 17, 1929, that Popeye, a spinach-loving sailor, made his debut in the comic strip. After Olive Oyl accidentally kissed Popeye instead of Harold in the August comic, they became romantically linked. Other prominent characters in the comic include Bluto—also known as Brutus—who is Popeye's nemesis, and Popeye's adopted baby, Swee'Pea. Thimble Theatre eventually had a spinoff comic called Popeye the Sailorman.

Various Popeye films and television shows have been made over the years. Popeye made his screen debut in 1933 with Popeye the Sailor. This film short also marked the first appearance of the song "Popeye the Sailor Man." This was followed by the series Popeye the Sailor, which ran through 1942. Other television shows were produced off and on, and a live-action film starring Robin Williams as Popeye was released in 1980.

Today's holiday exists because of the first kiss between Popeye and Olive Oyl. The word "kiss" comes from the Old English word "cyssan," which itself came from the proto-Germanic word "kussijanan" or "kuss." This word probably comes from the sound that kissing can make. The first written mention of kissing is in the four Vedic Sanskrit texts, which possibly date to as early as 1500 BCE.

The orbicularis oris, known as the "kissing muscle," allows lips to pucker. A pucker kiss only takes this and one other muscle, while a French kiss takes 34. "French kiss" is a slang phrase that came about in the English language in 1923, being so named because French culture was seen as being overly concerned with sex. The kiss is known as a soul kiss or a tongue kiss in France. About two-thirds of people tip their heads to the right when they kiss, and between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria are exchanged.

How to Observe Kiss Me Day

Today is the perfect day for a first kiss—whether it be your first kiss ever or your first kiss with a new person. If you already have someone you've been kissing, perhaps you could just try a new type of kiss. The day could also be spent reading Thimble Theatre and Popeye the Sailorman comic strips. You could also watch Popeye the Sailor, Robert Altman's Popeye, or videos on Popeye's official YouTube channel. For those looking for an out-of-town adventure, visit the Popeye Character Trail in E.C. Segar's hometown of Chester, Illinois.

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