Smokey Bear's Birthday Party
COME MEET SMOKEY BEAR! Please join Friends of Fort Vancouver, the US Forest Service and the National Park Service for a one-hour celebration from 1:30 to 2:30 PM, Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at the National Park Visitor Center, 1501 East Evergreen Blvd, 98661. The theater will feature a special short video about Smokey and Friends, the Friends' Bookshop will feature Smokey books and memorabilia, and birthday cake & lemonade will be served on the veranda when Smokey makes his appearance. If not fighting a wildfire, we have planned a special appearance of a Forest Ranger wearing the familiar uniform and campaign hat of the USFS in the 1930's.
Smokey was a real cub bear rescued by fire fighters in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. Smokey's debut poster was released on August 9, 1944, which is considered his anniversary date. Overseen by the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Campaign, the first poster was illustrated by Albert Staehle. In it Smokey was depicted wearing jeans and a campaign hat, pouring a bucket of water on a campfire. The message underneath reads, "Smokey says – Care will prevent 9 out of 10 forest fires!"
Also in 1944, Forest Service worker Rudy Wendelin became the full-time campaign artist; he was considered Smokey Bear's "caretaker" until he retired in 1973.
Smokey's message is as true today as it was when he was rescued in 1944, but his contemporary slogan has changed slightly: "Only you can prevent WILDFIRES."
Please join us next Tuesday to meet this American icon and to welcome the Forest Service to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.