Smokey Bear

 

Smokey Bear, the character, was created by the Forest Service in August 1944 as the lead symbol in its Wildfire Prevention Campaign. However, there was also a real, living Smokey Bear, himself the victim of a forest fire as a young cub.  Smokey was born in 1950 in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico, where he was found badly burned. Despite the odds for survival, he was nursed back to health by veterinarians in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In June of 1950 the Forest Service transferred Smokey to the Smithsonian with the stipulation that his life be devoted to forest fire prevention and wildlife conservation.  The National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., agreed to give Smokey a permanent home.

Smokey Bear's Animal Card, National Zoological Park Smokey Bear's Animal Card, National Zoological Park
Smokey Bear's Animal Card at National Zoological Park. This is Smokey Bear's official record in the National Zoological Park collection.
Press Release on Smokey Bear Arrival at National Zoo Press Release on Smokey Bear Arrival at National Zoo
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.
Act of Congress establishing the "Smokey Bear" character or name Act of Congress establishing the "Smokey Bear" character or name
An act of Congress establishing the "Smokey Bear" character or name under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture. This act recognized that "Smokey Bear" originated with the U.S. Forest Service and established a fine for unauthorized persons using the name or character. This fund will support the forest fire prevention campaign.
Hopalong Cassidy's "Fire on Capitan: The True Story of Little Smokey" Script Hopalong Cassidy's "Fire on Capitan: The True Story of Little Smokey" Script
Illustrated cover for a record narrated by Hopalong Cassidy and Smokey Bear with the story of "Fire on Capitan: The Story of Little Smokey." Includes the script for the story narrated by Hopalong Cassidy and a series of public service announcements by Smokey Bear encouraging everyone to do all they could to prevent forest fires. Created for use by radio stations across the country, was labeled Radio Platter #14.
"Be Careful with Matches" Ruler "Be Careful with Matches" Ruler
"Be Careful with Matches, with Smokes, with Any Fire" logo ruler with a drawing of two cubs climbing a tree with Smokey Bear standing in front of the tree. On the reverse is an 8" ruler that can be cut out and used to measure. Below the ruler on the back are five important rules to remember when handling fire. Created by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Smokey Bear wildfire control campaign in the 1950s.
Smokey Bear's Story of the Forest Smokey Bear's Story of the Forest
"Smokey Bear's Story of the Forest: Smokey Bear presents a story book of the forest, trees and animals" was a publication produced by the U.S. Forest Service in 1957 aimed at an elementary school audience. Illustrated by Forest Service artist Harry Rossoll, it taught children about the plants and animals in the forest and the effects of forest fires on their lives and homes.
Letter from Smokey Bear (featuring his paw print signature) to the Zoological Society of London Letter from Smokey Bear (featuring his paw print signature) to the Zoological Society of London
A Letter from Smokey Bear (featuring his paw print signature) to the Zoological Society of London seeking international assistance in spreading his wild fire prevention campaign, June 5, 1957.
Smokey Bear's Campaign: Forest Fire Prevention Smokey Bear's Campaign: Forest Fire Prevention
Smokey Bear's Campaign: Forest Fire Prevention is a two page information sheet, created c. 1960, on the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention campaign that provides statistics and discusses the successes of the campaign.
Smokey Bear's Junior Forest Rangers Kit and Song Smokey Bear's Junior Forest Rangers Kit and Song
Smokey Bear's Junior Forest Ranger Kit and the Smokey the Bear Song prepared by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" public service campaign that highlighted Smokey Bear. The kit included a Junior Forest Ranger membership card and certificate, Smokey Bear stamps, the song sheet, and an official photograph of Smokey. The cover letter was signed with Smokey's signature and paw print. The "Smokey the Bear" song sheet consisted of the score and lyrics written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins in 1952.
American Black Bear "Smokey Bear" at National Zoological Park American Black Bear "Smokey Bear" at National Zoological Park
Scientific name: [Ursus americanus] OR [Euarctos americanus]
Smokey Bear Frolicking in a Pool Smokey Bear Frolicking in a Pool
The original Smokey Bear frolicking in a pool at the National Zoological Park. Smokey Bear was brought by the U.S. Forest Service from New Mexico in June of 1950 after being burned as a cub from a forest fire that swept through a portion of the Lincoln National Forest. Smokey Bear served as a living symbol of the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention program.
American Black Bears "Goldie" and "Smokey" at National Zoological Park American Black Bears "Goldie" and "Smokey" at National Zoological Park
Scientific name: [Ursus americanus] OR [Euarctos americanus]
President Dwight Eisenhower holding a Smokey Bear doll President Dwight Eisenhower holding a Smokey Bear doll
President Dwight Eisenhower holding a Smokey Bear doll. With him is a group of unidentified men, one holding Smokey Bear materials. Behind the group is a closed door.
Senator Frank E. Moss and U.S. Forest Service Assistant Chief Edward P. Cliff, with Smokey Bear Senator Frank E. Moss and U.S. Forest Service Assistant Chief Edward P. Cliff, with Smokey Bear
Senator Frank E. Moss of Utah and U.S. Forest Service Assistant Chief Edward P. Cliff, with Smokey Bear in his enclosure at the National Zoological Park. Moss and Cliff hold a poster that reads "Smokey Says - Only you can PREVENT FOREST FIRES!"
Letter from Wm. W Huber to Theodore H. Reed Letter from Wm. W Huber to Theodore H. Reed
A letter from Wm. W Huber, Director of Forest Fire Prevention, to Theodore H. Reed, Director of the National Zoological Park, noting that children who visit the National Zoological Park to see Smokey Bear are disappointed he is not in his forest ranger uniform. Huber passes on a suggestion that Smokey's hat, dungarees, belt, and shovel are displayed next to his enclosure.
Letter from Mrs. Jerry D. Rider requesting to see Smokey Bear receive his peanut butter sandwich, August 11, 1974 Letter from Mrs. Jerry D. Rider requesting to see Smokey Bear receive his peanut butter sandwich, August 11, 1974
Letter from Mrs. Jerry D. Rider of Little Rock, AR, on behalf of her 6 year old son, requesting to witness Smokey receiving his beloved peanut butter sandwich, August 11, 1974.
A letter from Billie Hamlet of the NZP to Mrs. Jerry D. Rider regarding Smokey Bear receiving his peanut butter sandwich, August 15, 1974 A letter from Billie Hamlet of the NZP to Mrs. Jerry D. Rider regarding Smokey Bear receiving his peanut butter sandwich, August 15, 1974
A letter from Billie Hamlet, Information Officer, National Zoological Park to Mrs. Jerry D. Rider, Little Rock, Arkansas, regarding Smokey Bear receiving his peanut butter sandwich.
Letter from John Ball of Syracuse, NY, December 1974 Letter from John Ball of Syracuse, NY, December 1974
A letter from John Ball of Syracuse, New York to Smokey Bear, December 1974. Ball asks about Smokey Bear's honey and how cold it is at the Zoo. The letter includes a drawing of a Christmas tree.
Letter from Billie Hamlet of NZP to John Ball, December 12, 1974 Letter from Billie Hamlet of NZP to John Ball, December 12, 1974
A letter from Billie Hamlet, Information Officer, National Zoological Park, replying to John Ball thanking him for his gift of honey, and offering a Smokey Bear patch as a reciprocal gesture.
Letter from Brian Sheridan about Smokey Bear, October 1976 Letter from Brian Sheridan about Smokey Bear, October 1976
Letter from Brian Sheridan (written by his mother) concerned there was no water in Smokey's pool when they visited Smokey Bear at the National Zoological Park.
Letter from Billie Hamlet of the NZP to Brian Sheridan, October 15, 1976 Letter from Billie Hamlet of the NZP to Brian Sheridan, October 15, 1976
A letter from Billie Hamlet, Information Officer, National Zoological Park to Brian Sheridan of Baltimore, Maryland. Hamlet includes information about Smokey and Little Smokey as well as their enclosures at the National Zoological park.
Little Smokey Welcome Reception Invitation Little Smokey Welcome Reception Invitation
Invitation to a reception welcoming Little Smokey to help an aging Smokey Bear with his fire prevention duties. Front image shows a ranger station with the Washington Monument in the far distance. Reverse image is a drawing of Smokey Bear and Goldie welcoming Little Smokey as an addition to their family. All three bears resided at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.
Forest Service cartoon of Smokey Bear welcoming Little Smokey Forest Service cartoon of Smokey Bear welcoming Little Smokey
A black and white cartoon print of Smokey Bear placing a Forest Service hat on Little Smokey. Little Smokey holds a bucket that says "PREVENT FOREST FIRES!" and a spade. Two singing birds are pictured next to Little Smokey.
Little Smokey and two unidentified men in front of his enclosure at the NZP Little Smokey and two unidentified men in front of his enclosure at the NZP
Little Smokey in his enclosure at the National Zoological Park circa 1971. Two unidentified men in suits stand in front of his enclosure. A sign on Little Smokey's enclosure reads, "Little Smokey An orphan bear from Cloudcroft, New Mexico Lincoln National Forest Received November 15, 1971."
Forest Service fact sheet on Little Smokey Forest Service fact sheet on Little Smokey
A fact sheet about Little Smokey created but the U.S. Forest Service. The fact sheet describes Little Smokey and his life story.
Questions & Answers about Little Smokey Questions & Answers about Little Smokey
Questions & Answers about Little Smokey prepared by the U.S. Forest Service. The document answers biographical questions about Little Smokey such as where he is from, what his role will be, and his relationship to the original Smokey Bear.
American Black Bear "Little Smokey" at National Zoological Park American Black Bear "Little Smokey" at National Zoological Park
Scientific name: [Ursus americanus] OR [Euarctos americanus]
Press Release "Smokey to Receive Honey Tree on August 9" Press Release "Smokey to Receive Honey Tree on August 9"
This press release from the National Zoological Park on August 6, 1984, announces that Smokey II will received a gift of a honey tree in his enclosure on August 9, 1984, for the fortieth anniversary of the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention campaign initiated by the U.S. Forest Service in 1944. The tree is modeled to look like a 14 foot high weathered beech and will have openings where keepers can randomly hide honey and fresh fruit treats to enrich his days and encourage him to be more active and entertaining to visitors. The honey tree was funded by the Cooperative Fire Prevention Program of the U.S. Forest Service.
Smokey Bear's Daily Diet Smokey Bear's Daily Diet
Memorandum to Theodore H. Reed, Director of the National Zoological Park, detailing Smokey Bear's daily diet.
True Facts about Smokey Bear True Facts about Smokey Bear
This three-page handout, prepared by the National Zoological Park, provides the "True Facts about Smokey Bear." It opens noting, "We have to face it - Smokey is an old Bear," and provides an overview of Smokey's life story. It discusses that bears rarely live beyond 25 years while Smokey is now 24. It discusses the current popularity of the giant pandas and how old age is slowing Smokey down. Smokey Bear Junior is taking over his role. But it also notes how comfortable his quarters are and how devoted staff and veterinarians care for him daily.
Memo from Theodore Reed, Director of the NZP, announcing retirement ceremonies for Smokey Bear Memo from Theodore Reed, Director of the NZP, announcing retirement ceremonies for Smokey Bear
A memo from Theodore Reed, Director of the National Zoological Park, announcing retirement ceremonies for Smokey Bear to take place on May 2, 1975.
Smokey in his NZP enclosure upon his "retirement," c. May 1975 Smokey in his NZP enclosure upon his "retirement," c. May 1975
An elderly Smokey Bear standing on rocks in his enclosure. The caption reads, "The original Smokey Bear, who for 25 years served as the first living symbol of forest fire prevention, died today in his retirement cage at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. The original Smokey Bear was retired during special ceremonies in May of 1975, and a new official Smokey Bear was appointed at that time to replace him.
Press Release celebrating the retirement of Smokey Bear Press Release celebrating the retirement of Smokey Bear
National Geographic Society press release celebrating the retirement of Smokey Bear. It includes a brief dscription of Smokey Bear and an appreciation for his work.
Smokey Bear Biography Smokey Bear Biography
Consists of a typewritten 2-page biography of Smokey Bear and his impact on decreasing forest fires in the United States. It was prepared by the U.S. Forest Service as Smokey neared the end of his life. It is labeled, [Hold for death of Original Smokey Bear!].
"Original Smokey Bear Dies" Broadcast Script "Original Smokey Bear Dies" Broadcast Script
Consists of a typewritten 3-page television broadcast script titled "Original Smokey Bear Dies" released by the U.S. Forest Service when Smokey Bear died on November 9, 1976. The script says he died of just plain "old age," details his life history and notes that Smokey Bear junior was continuing his work. The three minute piece included several images of Smokey and instructions for when to insert them.
Dedication of Smokey Bear Historical State Park in New Mexico Dedication of Smokey Bear Historical State Park in New Mexico
Consists of a two page announcement of the dedication of the Smokey Bear Historical State Park in Capitan, New Mexico, on May 15, 1976, shortly before his death on November 9, 1976. Smokey was found nearby as an orphaned bear cub clinging to a singed tree after a forest fire in 1950. It also contains the envelope that delivered the announcement to National Zoological Park director, Theodore H. Reed.
Brochure for Smokey Bear Historical State Park in New Mexico Brochure for Smokey Bear Historical State Park in New Mexico
Consists of a brochure about the new Smokey Bear Historical State Park in Capitan, New Mexico. It traces the history of Smokey Bear and the creation of the Smokey Bear State Historical Park. It was produced after January of 1975 but before Smokey Bear died in 1976.
"Remember -- Only You...." Smokey Bear 40th Anniversary Booklet "Remember -- Only You...." Smokey Bear 40th Anniversary Booklet
"Remember -- Only You...: 1944-1984, Forty Years of Preventing Forest Fires, Smokey's 40th Birthday," is a 24-page glossy color booklet created to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the forest fire prevention campaign initiated by the U.S. Forest Service in 1944. The booklet begins with a 2-page essay titled "The Story of Smokey Bear," followed by 18 pages of posters issued by the Forest Service, with 4 per page, totalling 72 posters. Each poster is dated.
Forest Service Poster of Smokey Bear Forest Service Poster of Smokey Bear
A U.S. Forest Service poster of Smokey Bear tipping his hat. The poster reads "Thanks for Listening."