Happy Birthday, Smokey! The famous bear turns 75


FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 file photo, a giant Smokey Bear statue greets children at the Fire Department Open House at Fire Station One in Kinston, N.C. The icon of the longest-running public service campaign in the U.S., was born on Aug. 9, 1944, when the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council agreed that a fictional bear would be the symbol for a fire prevention campaign. (Janet S. Carter/Daily Free Press via AP)

(CNN)– Only you can wish Smokey Bear a happy 75th birthday!

The U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council created the forest fire fighting bear back in 1944. Many experienced firefighters were fighting in World War II at the time, turning forest fire prevention into a big issue that needed to addressed.

“Only you can prevent forest fires”

While many know and love this phrase, it was not Smokey’s original tagline. The famous sentence did not come about until 1947. Before that, this furry mascot said, “Care will prevent nine out of 10 fires.”

Wish Smokey a happy birthday

Smokey’s official Twitter handle is encouraging fans to post videos of themselves singing “Happy Birthday.” If you don’t feel like sharing your vocal skills, you can also make a camp-inspired cake. Smokey’s official Twitter handle sharing the recipe. To learn more about Smokey, his history, and his mission, visit the official site here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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