On This Day: Smokey Bear Campaign Is Born

Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires – Smokey Bear

On Aug 9, 1944, the United States was introduced to a new icon of American advertising known as Smokey Bear.  Born by the combined efforts of the United States Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, the Ad Council, and advertising agency FCB, the Smokey Bear campaign was crafted to educate the public about the need to prevent wildfires caused by unplanned outdoor fires.  The campaign would create one of the most recognizable ad slogans in American advertising: Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.

By the 1950s and 1960s, Smokey had become so popular that the United States Congress passed the Smokey Bear Act, which limited the rights of use and kept Smokey Bear out of the public domain.  By 1984, the Smokey Bear campaign was honored for its public service with a 40th anniversary United States Postal Service stamp.

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