Today is World Smile Day!

Today is the first Friday of October, which means that today is World Smile Day! 

The holiday was first celebrated in 1999, and its initiative belongs to the artist Harvey Ball.

Once, and this was in 1963, representatives of the insurance company "State Mutual Life Assurance Company of America" addressed this unremarkable American artist. They asked Harvey to come up with some bright and memorable designation that would make employees smile at customers and would become the company's hallmark.

As a result of the 10-minute work, a smiling yellow face appeared. The very "smiley face"! Harvey got 45 dollars for his work, and the customer made branded badges with the smiley face and gave them to the employees and customers of the company.

The unexpected success of such a schtick exceeded all expectations: after only a few months, the smiley icons count was in the tens of thousands! And soon the yellow face appeared on clothes, postcards and even postage stamps.

“Never in the history of mankind and art has there been a single artwork that, having spread so widely, would bring so much happiness, joy and pleasure. There was nothing that was done so simply, but that became clear to everyone” - once said the "father" of the smiley face in one of his numerous interviews.

Ball himself believed that this day should be dedicated to good mood, so the motto of this day are the words: “Do a good deed. Help at least one smile appear.”

Harvey Ball has not registered his smiley as a copyright or trademark. In 1971, French entrepreneur Franklin Loufrani registered the smiley face as a trademark in about 80 countries (the United States is not included in the list), claiming that he invented it in 1968. The Loufrani Corporation has amassed a fortune in a few years selling trademark licenses.

Ball did not argue, and Loufrani was not the only one who claimed to have invented the smiley face. In the end, Harvey registered several trademarks, on which his version of the smiley was accompanied by his own name.

In 2001, the World Smile Foundation was founded in honor of and in memory of Harvey Ball. The Foundation's profits go to charity, and the Foundation's website says: “Harvey Ball believed that each of us has the opportunity to change this world for the better, and he lived by this belief. He knew that any effort to improve the world, no matter how small, was worth it. And he understood the power of a smile and a kind deed.”