The Smiley Face Was Invented in Massachusetts

Happy World Smile Day!

Today marks World Smile Day, the happiest day of the year in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The smiley face was invented in the #Woo in 1963 by Harvey Ball, an artist hired to boost morale at State Mutual Life Assurance Company. He’s said to have completed the drawing within 10 minutes and was compensated with $45. Ball never ended up copyrighting his design, and the wildly popular doodle became the smiley face we know today.

In 1999, World Smile Day was established by Ball. Since then, every year on the first Friday in October, inhabitants of planet earth set out to spread “good cheer and good works.” Citizens of Worcester celebrate with The Harvey Ball, a black tie affair that presents the Harvey Ball Smile Award to positive makers of change in the city.

Fun fact: Harvey Ball attended the Worcester Art Museum schoolthe same school that Don Featherstone, the creator of the pink flamingo lawn ornament, went to.


The Harvey Ball in Worcester, Mass.