Today in 1944, The U.S. Forest Service created Smokey Bear, a mascot encouraging people to be more careful in preventing unplanned forest fires. Smokey is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history. In 1952, the popular song “Smokey the Bear” was released by country artist Eddy Arnold. Since then, “the” has appeared in most unofficial uses of his name, though officially he has always just been Smokey Bear.