Smokey Bear celebrates 75th birthday

Smokey Bear wants you to sing "Happy Birthday" to him on Twitter for his 75th birthday. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Only you can wish Smokey Bear a happy birthday.

America’s ubiquitous forest fire fighting 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 using the hashtag #SingForSmokey.

Smokey was born in 1944 when the US 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 10 fires.” Then in 1947, he started saying what we all know today: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

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