This day in history: Mickey Mouse debuts in his first cartoon

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We all know Mickey Mouse -- he's the cheerful rodent with white gloves, circular ears and bright red shorts.

The iconic character was co-created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. He was originally conceived as a replacement for their earlier and strikingly similar character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. In fact, Mickey Mouse was created out of necessity once Oswald became the primary property of Universal Studios, since he was produced on that company's payroll. This not only spurred the creation of the iconic mouse but also ensured that Disney would only work on characters to which he owned the rights.

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This day in history: Mickey Mouse debuts in his first cartoon
American animator and producer Walt Disney with one of his creations Mickey Mouse. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

"Plane Crazy," the first creation of the character Mickey Mouse which debuted in a test screening to a theater audience on May 15, 1928.

(Photo by Mary Evans/WALT DISNEY PICTURES via Ronald Grant/Everett Collection)

Democratic Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter grins as he meets a youngster dressed as Mickey Mouse as he greeted people in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday. Sept. 9, 1976. Carter campaigned in Columbus Thursday morning before flying to Illinois. (AP Photo)
Mickey Mouse greets a few of the thousands of happy youngsters that showed up in downtown Indianapolis on Nov. 19, 1978, for a mini-parade in honor of the world’s most famous mouse’s 50th birthday. (AP Photo/AB)
Northwestern University band forms likeness of famed cartoon character Mickey Mouse during halftime of game against Michigan State at Evanston, Illinois on Nov. 18, 1978. Saturday is Mickey’s 50th birthday. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)
Walt Disney, the man who created “Mickey Mouse” arriving in London with his wife on June 12, 1935. (AP Photo)
First lady Betty Ford and Mickey Mouse welcome children of the members of the Diplomatic Corps to a party in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 11, 1974. Mickey Mouse is portrayed by Marvin Weems. (AP Photo/Harvey Georges)
Mickey Mouse greets fans in Chicago on Nov. 15, 1978, as his cross-country whistle stop train arrived at Union Station. Mickey, less than five-feet-tall, is making the trip to mark the 50th anniversary of his birthday. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)
Mickey Mouse, the cartoon character created by Walt Disney, became the 1700th star, and first animated personality, to have his star placed on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 13, 1978. Minnie Mouse joined Mickey on ceremonies in front of Mann’s, formerly Grauman’s, Chinese Theater. Event was one of many that will kick off a nationwide tour for Mickey, celebrating his 50th birthday, as well as the 75th anniversary of Hollywood. (AP Photo/George Brich)
Two of America’s best known entertainers discover they have one prominent feature in common. Mickey Mouse was the official greeter when “Ole Ski Nose” arrived at Disney World in Orlando, to help celebrate the park’s tenth anniversary. Bob Hope was Grand Marshal at the Tencennial Parade in Orlando, Florida on Oct. 3, 1981, the climax of the opening week of festivities marking the park’s first decade. (AP Photo/PW)
Mickey Mouse and Anaheim Mayor Don Roth celebrate the release of at least 1 million balloons in Anaheim, Calif., at Disneyland, Dec. 5, 1985. The balloons were released to commemorate Disneyland’s 30th year on what would have been Walt Disney’s 84th birthday. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Mickey and Minnie Mouse and the dog, Pluto, entertain guests at Tokyo Disneyland on May 11, 1983. (AP Photo/LL)
397155 08: Mickey Mouse rides in a parade through Main Street, USA with Cinderella's castle in the background at Disney World's Magic Kingdom November 11, 2001 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, UNITED STATES: Mickey Mouse and Roy Disney look upward as fireworks are launched during the rededication of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 01 October, for 25th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World. AFP PHOTO Tony RANZE (Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP/Getty Images)
Disney's Mickey and Minnie Mouse wave as they speed by on dolphin-shaped jet skis at the Tokyo DisneySea park in Urayasu, Japan Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002. Tokyo DisneySea celebrated its first anniversary Tuesday with a special show at its Mediterranean Harbor at the entrance to the park. (AP Photo/Tsugufumi Matsumoto)
Former first lady Nancy Reagan, second from right, smiles as she is joined by Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert Iger, right, and Frederick J. Ryan Jr., chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, third from right, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and David Ferriero, Archvist of the United States, during the opening ceremony of the D23 Presents Treasures of Walt Disney Archives exhibit at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif, Thursday, July 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Volunteers help inflate a Mickey Mouse flotation for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2011 on West 77th Street in New York City. The parade which started in 1924 is celebrating its 85th year. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Mickey Mouse waves during announcement naming him as the Grand Marhsall of the 2005 Tournment of Roses Parade on November 16, 2004 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Southern California tailback Reggie Bush, right, poses with Mickey Mouse during a visit to Disneyland on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. Texas and Southern California will play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, 2006. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Disney character Mickey Mouse (C) exchange greetings with guests at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, suburban Tokyo on January 1, 2014. Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, is expecting to attract 30.7million visitors for their fiscal year ended March 2014, the first time to mark over 30million guests as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee of Mitsukoshi Department Store intoduces a pure gold Mickey Mouse at the head store in Tokyo on April 3, 2010. The department store started selling the only figure in Japan, which is 20cm tall and weighs 2kg, at 225,800 USD to commemorate the second anniversary of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)
Walt Disney characters Mickey Mouse (R) and Minnie Mouse pose for photographs in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on September 25, 2014. The Disney characters, icons of the US entertainment industry, were making their debut in Myanmar, which has emerged from being a highly reclusive state. AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung THU (Photo credit should read Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)
Mickey Mouse shaped balloons are for sale at Disneyland, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Mickey Mouse first appeared on May 15th in 1928 in the unfinished short "Plane Crazy."

The character was officially unveiled to the public six months later in "Steamboat Willie," co-starring Minnie Mouse.

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