What is World Smile Day?
You’ve probably seen a smiley face. They’re everywhere. But have you ever wondered where it came from?
A commercial artist named Harvey Ball, from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. Ball was paid $45 to create the image that would cheer employees during a bumpy company merger. The image came to be the universal symbol of goodwill and good cheer to everyone.
Over the years, his symbol became overly commercialized in the marketplace (think Wal-Mart), causing its original meaning to be lost. In fact, Ball never attempted to trademark the symbol and another man claimed to have invented it, using it for his financial gain. Today, our emojis aren’t so different from Ball’s original design.
Ball decided to bring back its positivity through World Smile Day. He believed that we should devote a date each year to smile and do acts of kindness throughout the world. Just as the smiley does not affiliate with politics, geography, or religion, so should we on that day. As a result, he declared the first Friday of every October to be the day we forget about differences and focus on positivity. The first world smile day dates back to 1999 and has been held each year ever since.
Harvey passed away in 2001 and the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was formed to honor his name and idea. This foundation is the official sponsor of World Smile Day.
Celebrate with a Smile
This Friday, October 7 celebrate wherever you are by performing acts of kindness to help people smile. See how many people smile at you; it is the best reward! Also importantly, we want you to keep a healthy clean smile, so do not forget to schedule a visit with us in any of our locations. Show us your big smile by using #WorldSmileDay and tagging us on Facebook.