Harvey Ball was the creator of the very first "smiley face". That happened back in 1963 when a local insurance company asked him to design something that would help improve employee morale.
So he designed Smiley and put him on a button which was distributed to employees of that Worcester, MA insurance company.
Since then "smiley" has appeared everywhere in the world. "Smiley" really has brought happiness to so many people. Not surprisingly, many businesses have freely used the "smiley" design in connection with their products. In recent times however, "smiley" has become so commercialized that its original message of spreading goodwill and good cheer has all but disappeared. Harvey felt he needed to do something to rescue and restore that message. So he started the World Smile Corporation (WSC). But that's a story for a different web site (www.worldsmile.com). Harvey decided that all after-tax profits generated by WSC will be directed to charities whose mission is to serve the needs of children. It's like what actor Paul Newman does with his "Newman's Own" brand of food products. For more information visit the World Smile Foundation website (www.worldsmile.org).
So what is World Smile DayŽ? When is it? How do you celebrate it?
Every year, on the first Friday in October we celebrate Smiley, his message of goodwill, and World Smile DayŽ.
First, it is a day dedicated to good cheer and good works. The catch phrase for the day is "Do an act of kindness - help one person smile". The symbol for the day is, of course, Smiley. Smiley is now the universal symbol of happiness and goodwill. The act of kindness itself is up to the doer. It is limited only by the imagination. It can be the smallest thing. We've included a few suggestions on what you might do to observe World Smile DayŽ. The person helped doesn't have to know who provided the help. A group can work together to help others. We truly hope that schools throughout the world will celebrate World Smile DayŽ. If our children learn early the power of a smile and a kind act the whole world will be a better place. It doesn't have to cost anything to celebrate World Smile DayŽ. The act of kindness is the celebration.
We are now in the process of planning this year's World Smile DayŽ 2002 which will be on October 3, 2003. You can plan your own celebration based on what we did or based on your own ideas. We would love to hear from you.
(edited by Alessandro on 3.10.03 0837) Alessandro "Hercules" Boondy
Is this supposed to be the guy from the "Forrest gump" movie when Forrest is just running and won't stop, then he gets hit with mud and dirt after a car drives by and splashes a puddle, then Forrest whips his face on a guy's shirt shockingly making a "smile"?
Homer Simpson: If they can send a man to the moon, why can't they make my shoes smell good?