Seventy years ago today, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council settled on a mascot for their fire-prevention efforts. On August 9, 1944, Smokey Bear was born.
A few things you might not know about Smokey:
- Smokey’s famous slogan, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires,” was adopted in 1947. Today, it’s the more inclusive “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.”
- His proper name is Smokey Bear, not Smokey the Bear. The “the” was added by songwriters to help with the rhythm of Smokey’s song.
- Before Smokey came along, Disney loaned the Bambi character to the Forest Service for use as a fire-prevention spokesman.
To celebrate Smokey turning 70, why not take his pledge to be smart in the outdoors and do your part to avoid starting wildfires? We think he’d appreciate it.