On Tuesday, June 6, 2000, the House of Representatives approved and sent to the White House legislation awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to late PEANUTS comic strip creator Charles Schulz. The gold medal is the highest civilian honor given by Congress. The measure, which the House passed by voice vote after unanimous approval by the Senate, praises Schulz for giving "the nation a unique sense of optimism, purpose and pride. Whether through the Great Pumpkin Patch, the Kite Eating Tree, Lucy's Psychiatric Help Stand or Snoopy's adventures with the Red Baron, PEANUTS embodied human vulnerabilities, emotions and potential." The 77-year-old cartoonist died on February 13, 2000, the day the final PEANUTS cartoon ran in newspapers. He had announced in November that he would retire to fight his newly diagnosed colon cancer.