Smokey the Bear is an icon of forest protection that was administed by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of Foresters, and the Ad Council. The public service announcement was created in 1944 and is the longest public service advertisement campaign in U.S. history.
Smokey Bear was originally a campaign character used by the US Forest Service in the early 1940s to raise awareness of how forest fires could harm the war effort. Originally, the cartoon character only showed his face on educational posters. In 1950, however, when a bear cub survived a forest fire in Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, it was dubbed the real Smokey, and comic strips and commercials soon followed. Smokey remains one of the most recognizable campaign characters in the US.
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