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Story of Smokey

Explore Smokey Bear’s History

Smokey Bear leans on his mailbox and reads a letter.

Since 1944, Smokey’s been working hard to inspire Americans to prevent wildfires. Follow his history here through memorabilia and print, radio and TV messages.

1950
1950: Art Linkletter Radio Commercial
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1950: Ward Bond Radio Commercial
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1950: Posters
A poster featuring Smokey Bear reads "You can stop this shameful waste."
1950: Ladies Home Journal
Smokey Bear is featured on Ladies Home Journal in 1950.
1950: Bing Crosby Radio Commercial
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1950: Roy Rogers Radio Commercial
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1950: Dale Robertson Radio Commercial
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1950: James Arness Radio Commercial
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1950: Clint Walker Radio Commercial
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1952
1952: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A poster that reads "Smokey Says Prevent Forest Fires!"
1953
1953: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A stamp reads "Promise you will help prevent forest fires!"
1953: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A stamp reads Pledge Your Help! Prevent Forest Fires!
1953: Posters
One Careless Match
1953: Posters
A poster that reads "Please...help people be more careful!" with Smokey Bear holding his hat over his heart looking up.
1953: Posters
A poster that reads, "Promise that you will be careful with matches, smokes, camp fires, and any fire. Remember - Only you can prevent Forest Fires!"
1954
1954: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A stamp reads Pledge Your Help! Prevent Forest Fires!
1958
1958: Golden Smokey Award
Judy Bell receiving a 1957 Golden Smokey for "The Children of America" from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1959
1959: Posters
Smokey Bear and his forest friends hold up some posters in the forest. They read "Break your matches, crush your smokes," "Drown your campfires," "Be careful with every fire."
1959: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A poster depicting Smokey Bear, his shovel, and a bear cub. It reads "The true story of Smokey Bear."
1959: Posters
A poster depicting Smokey Bear wrapping some gauze on a bear cub's paw. It reads"Why? Remember only you can prevent forest fires."