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Virginia Department of Forestry: Smokey the Bear turns 68 on Aug. 9; agency recently reorganizes
Smokey was first used as a poster character Aug. 9, 1944, and is one of the most widely recognized characters in the world. An animal artist specializing in drawing dogs, Albert Staehle was the first artist to render Smokey, and his Smokey had long, silky hair. Rudy Wendelin, who created art for the U.S. Forest Service from 1946 through 1973, refined the character into what we know today.
August 4, 2012