Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic strip, which started in 1934, was so popular that at least two of its characters have entered the American dialect. "Sadie Hawkins Day" is the one day of the year on which all of the unmarried men in Dogpatch (the name of the town where Li'l Abner lives) hide -- because on that day, any woman who catches and drags an unmarried man back to a finish line can force him to marry her. (Sadie Hawkins was a character who originated this custom. "Marryin' Sam" was the minister who performed the marriages; this name is also sometimes used today to idiomatically refer to someone who performs a lot of marriages.) This was the basis for a very popular Broadway musical comedy opening in 1956, whose plot revolved around Sadie Hawkins Day. The movie version came out in 1959. As a result of the comic strip and musical, even today high schools in the U.S. often have "Sadie Hawkins" dances, where the girls invite the boys. Of course most of the students have no idea why they call them "Sadie Hawkins" dances now.
Some of the situations Donald gets into in this story, are very reminiscent of Abner trying to elude Daisy Mae.
Rob Klein, in a May 12, 2001 e-mail to the Disney Comics Mailing List:
[Carl], told me several times ((when we discussed where his ideas came from (in individual stories), that Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" was a big influence on him. He mentioned specifically, that "Sadie Hawkins Day" was his inspiration for "shenanigans" involving Daisy with Donald (please excuse my own paraphrasing) in at least two individual WDC & S stories. I can no longer recall which stories he referred to, as I am now middle- aged, and the conversations took place in the late 1960s and beginning of the 1970s. He mentioned Capp's strip most, but also "The Gumps" ((that Andy Gump's rich Uncle was the inspiration for Uncle Scrooge) (at least in terms of the fabulous wealth's ability to allow him to go anywhere and do anything he wished)). Seeing the glow in his eyes when he mentioned "Li'l Abner, and hearing him chuckle every time he spoke of it, I would venture to guess that Capp's strip was one of his favourite strips (if not the very favourite). He was not embarassed to say that he was influenced by other cartoonists.
Carl also mentioned "The Katzenjammer Kids" and "Thimble Theatre"(especially the earlier Segar) as others of his favourite strips (but he did not say whether or not he may have been influences on him). He also mentioned liking several other strips from the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s that he liked, but I cannot remember which, as I knew little about U.S. newspaper strips from those periods. It seems clear that the joy he received in reading the newspaper cartoon strips in his young childhood spurred him into his cartooning career. (But, I believe that has been said many times in his various biographies?).