Press Release on Smokey Bear Arrival at National Zoo

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Press release from the U.S. Forest Service on July 8, 1950, announces that the bear cub, Smokey, who was founding clinging to a tree in New Mexico after a forest fire, is traveling to Washington, D.C., as the official symbol of fire preventions. Letter from Lyle F. Watts, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to William M. Mann, director of the National Zoological Park, on July 10, 1950, thanks the NZP for its work on programs around in the arrival of Smokey Bear at the National Zoo, transferred from the U.S. Forest Service. The bear cub became the symbol of forest fire prevention in the United States.


  • Watts, Lyle F
  • Mann, William M. 1886-1960
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution and United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Consists of a press release and a letter documenting Smokey Bear's arrival at the National Zoo in July of 1950

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 326, Box 83, Folder 1

Contact information

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


July 1950

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Forest fire prevention
  • Smokey Bear
  • Advertising
  • Bears
  • Advertising--Forest fire prevention


  • United States
  • Washington
  • DC


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2019-000020 and SIA2019-000021 and SIA2019-000022

Physical description

Number of Images: 3; Color: Color; Size: 11h x 8.5w; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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