We might be jumping the gun a little but you need to know that Smokey Bear turns 75 this year. His birthday is usually celebrated on 9 August but there will be additional festivities this year because 75 is evenly divisible by 25 and is three-quarters of the way toward 100. Smokey Bear was born on 9 August 1944, when the US Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for their joint effort to promote forest fire prevention. Artist Albert Staehle was asked to paint the first poster of Smokey Bear. It depicted a bear pouring a bucket of water on a campfire and saying “Care will prevent 9 out of 10 fires.” Smokey Bear soon became very popular as his image appeared on a variety of forest fire prevention materials. In 1947, his slogan became the familiar “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!”
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