• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

World Smile Day: World celebrates iconic smiley face

Today is is World Smile Day. The annual “holiday, ” observed since 1999, takes place each year on the first Friday in October.

World Smile Day celebrates an iconic image that is recognized around the world – the smiley face. Commercial artist Harvey Ball created the image for a client back in the 60s. Taking just 10 minutes to create, Ball was paid $45 for his design. But Ball never applied for a trademark or copyright on the character, something his son said he never regretted.

Ball founded World Smile Day in an effort to remind people around the world to devote a special day to random acts of kindness and smiles. In an online interview, Charles P. Ball, Harvey Ball’s son said,

"My father created World Smile Day to remind people to be positive and optimistic. He believed Smiley connected the world to practice kindness, and share a smile. It is an icon that translates through languages and cultures, and is world renowned."

The symbol that symbolizes happiness and good cheer became so popular, the United States Post Office issued a Smiley Face Stamp on Oct. 1, 1999. At the unveiling, Ball said, “World Smile Day is open to every person on the planet. No matter what color they are, or who they might pray to, no matter what country they live in. " He said, "World Smile Day simply asks each person to live the day with a generous heart, do one kind act, to help one person smile.

In honor of World Smile Day, do something nice for a friend, coworker, loved one, neighbor or stranger. You'll be sure to put a great big smile on someone's face! Let's all make the world a happier place - one smile at a time.