During the 70s and 80s, there was a PSA from the "Keep America Beautiful" organization that, if you saw it as a kid, is certainly permanently burned into your brain. Did you know the Native American crying in the commercial is from Kaplan?

Keep America Beautiful Crying Indian
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Crying Native American Keep America Beautiful PSA

As a kid of the 70s and 80s, you probably vividly remember this PSA of the Native American shedding a tear after watching people throw trash out of their car windows.

For many, that tear is still the reason for not littering and, even sometimes picking up other people's trash not properly disposed of.

You might be quite surprised to learn that the man who has made such an impact on people around the country is actually from Kaplan.

That mas was known as Iron Eyes Cody, born April 3, 1904, in Kaplan, La.

Iron Eyes Cody
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Iron Eyes Cody - Keep America Beautiful PSA

"The Crying Native American" apparently wasn't Native American, but actually Italian, born Espera Oscar de Corti.

Iron Eyes Cody grew up in Gueydan, La, with his two brothers, Frank and Joseph, as well as his sister Victoria.

Cody had quite a career on the silver screen, most notably having a role in Bob Hope's 1948 film "The Paleface" (pictured above).

However, it's his "Keep America Beautiful" PSA that made him a part of millions of people's lives.

From Wikipedia.com -

"He also played a Native American shedding a tear about litter in one of the country's most well-known television public service announcements from the group Keep America Beautiful.

Living in Hollywood, he began to insist, even in his private life, that he was Native American, over time claiming membership in several different tribes.

After his death, it was revealed that he was of Sicilian parentage, and not Native American at all."

Whether he was Native American or just acting as one, there's no denying the impact Iron Eyes Cody had on America with his "Keep America Beautiful" PSAs.

 

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