By Susan A. Neufeld
Lake Arrowhead, CA – Smokey Bear turns 73 this year! And, the Mountain History Museum — located at 27176 Peninsula Dr., Lake Arrowhead — is helping the beloved American icon celebrate his birthday in grand style.
HELP SMOKEY CELEBRATE HIS BIG DAY
On Sunday, August 6, from noon to 3 p.m., you can wish Smokey a Happy Birthday — and enjoy a birthday cupcake, popcorn and lemonade — all courtesy of the museum. Free Smokey Bear bandannas will be given out to the first 50 kids attending the event.
Attendees can also check out the expanded San Bernardino National Forest Exhibit, and view the Forest Service’s original 1924 Model-T Forest Patrol Vehicle.
HAVE FUN AND LEARN FIRE SAFETY
The day will be filled with games and activities, as well important facts on fire prevention. Information will also be available for those wishing to become a United States Forest Service Wildfire Prevention Volunteer.
The event is free to the public.
ORIGINS OF SMOKEY BEAR
Smokey Bear (often erroneously called Smokey ‘the’ Bear) was “born” in 1944 as part of an advertising campaign to educate the American public on the dangers of forest fires. Smokey’s famous slogan “Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires” was created in 1947 by the Advertising Council and, according to the Ad Council, Smokey and his message are now recognized by ninety-five percent of all adults and seventy-seven percent of all children in the United States.
Smokey Bear became a part of American “pop” culture during the 1950’s, through appearances on radio programs, as well as comic strips and cartoons. In 1984, to mark his 40th anniversary, Smokey was honored with a U.S. postage stamp.