THIS FROM SBA MEMBER FRED TURCK: Doing some reading, ok surfing and reading I came across the statement below …..On August 2, 1944, the Forest Service and the War Advertising Council introduced the smokey bear character as their campaign symbol.
Now this could be an error even though it was on the internet and of course everything on the internet is true. But my search is to find out if in fact there is any truth in this and if so then why do we celebrate Aug 9th as Smokey’s Birthday.
I talked with William Lawter (author of 20252) and he confirmed this as he gives an explanation as to why it’s August 9th in his book 20252. It was not till On August 9, 1944, the figure of what would become Smokey Bear began to take shape when Richard Hammett, the director of the Wartime Forest Fire Prevention Program took up pen and set down the characteristics of a short-nose bear-“appealing, knowledgeable, quizzical”- perhaps wearing a campaign (or Boy Scout) hat that typifies the outdoors and the woods that would become the icon for one of the longest running and most famous advertising campaign slogans of the 20th century. In this letter he asked Artist Albert Staehle to draw “the bear”. Albert Staehle, a nationally known artist, was asked to paint the first bear, which was completed in 1944 and distributed the following year.
So it has always been considered the date (August 9th) Smokey was “born”. Some folks do disagree with the 9th date but 70 years of tradition will (and never should be) changed. At least that’s my 2 cents.
There is still that one lingering possibility that there might be some actual truth to the fact that on August 2nd the Forest Service and the Ad Council came to an agreement that a bear will serve as the as their campaign symbol for forest fire prevention. Maybe Snowden has this memo in is his collection of documents or its part of the 18 minutes and 34 seconds of missing Nixon tapes ?????