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"Smokin' Joe Martin and Smokey the Bear"

4 years 2 weeks 4 days ago June 04, 2013 Jun 4, 2013 Tuesday, June 04 2013 June 04, 2013 2:00 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

The weekend wildfire in the Angeles National Forest is known as the Powerhouse Fire and scorched 30,000 acres. Occasionally these fires are caused by lightning. In 1945 Albert Staehle drew a uniformed bear with a name inspired by New York City fireman "Smokey Joe" Martin, becoming Smokey Bear with no "the" in the middle. In 1947, Smokey's trademark slogan, "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," was added with Washington disc jockey Jackson Weaver as the voice of Smokey. As noted in a previous column, in 1948 Forest Service artist, Rudy Wendelin presented the renderings of the fire prevention bear and The Smokey the Bear Act was passed by Congress, regulating the commercial use of the name and image; becoming the most popular symbol in the United States in 1952.

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