Smokey Bear Arrives at National Zoological Park

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Smokey Bear, a four-month-old orphaned black bear cub rescued from a forest fire in Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico, arrives at the National Zoological Park. The National Park Service erects an exhibit next to Smokey's cage, and the bear becomes a famous symbol of fire prevention. Smokey died in 1976 and was replaced by Smokey Bear II.


  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • United States Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • The Annual Report for 1950 calls him "Smoky."
  • Mergen, Alexa. From Bison to Biopark: 100 Years of the National Zoo. Washington, D.C.: Friends of the National Zoo, 1989.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1950, p. 84
  • Torch, 12/1976, p. 2
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, RU 326, Box 83, Folder 1 - July 10,1950 letter.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


June 30, 1950


  • Animals
  • Forest fire prevention
  • National Collections
  • Smokey Bear
  • Advertising
  • Bears
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Advertising--Forest fire prevention

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