Happy 75th birthday, Smokey Bear! - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Happy 75th birthday, Smokey Bear!

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(CNN) -- Smokey Bear turns 75 years old Friday.

To celebrate, his official Twitter handle is asking people to post videos of themselves singing "Happy Birthday" to him. 

Smokey was born in 1944 when the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council teamed up to create a mascot to spread their message. 

Forest fire prevention had become a big issue because many experienced firefighters were overseas fighting in World War II. That left fewer of them available to fight fires at home, making prevention more important. 

Smokey's original tagline was "Care will prevent nine out of ten fires." Then in 1947, he started saying what we all know today - "Only you can prevent forest fires."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today is my 75th birthday! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OnlyYou?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OnlyYou</a> can make it extra special by sharing a birthday shoutout with me! Tag me in a shoutout using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmokeyBear75?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmokeyBear75</a> &amp; I&#39;ll add it to a highlight! Remember, the greatest gift you could give me is doing your part to prevent wildfires. Cheers to 75 years! <a href="https://t.co/DiieM8CHaC">pic.twitter.com/DiieM8CHaC</a></p>&mdash; Smokey Bear (@smokey_bear) <a href="https://twitter.com/smokey_bear/status/1159811567589838848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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