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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.

1960
1960: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
Two stamps are side by side. There is a red stamp that reads "why?" The second stamp is green and reads "Remember.. only you can prevent forest fires."
1960: Dinah Shore Radio Commercial
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1960: Walter Brennan Radio Commercial
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1960: Willard Waterman Radio Commercial
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1960: Billy Gray Radio Commercial
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1960: Broderick Crawford Radio Commercial
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1960: Barbara Stanwyck Radio Commercial
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1961
1961: Smokey Bear 20th Anniversary
Smokey Bear 20th year anniversary poster.
1962
1962: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
Two stamps are side by side. There is an orange stamp that reads "I promise not to play matches." The second stamp is green and reads "Prevent forest fires."
1962: The Smokey Bear Story
Smokey Bear points to a chalkboard that reads "The Smokey Bear Story."
1964
1964: Posters
A poster depicting Smokey playing with building blocks reads "always hold matches 'til cold. Be sure to drown all fires. Crush all smokes dead out. Follow Smokey's ABCs. Please! Only you can prevent wildfires."
1966
1966: Posters
A poster depicting Smokey that reads "always hold matches 'til cold. Be sure to drown all fires. Crush all smokes dead out. Follow Smokey's ABCs. Please! Only you can prevent wildfires."
1967
1967: Thanks Folks
A Smokey Bear Poster nailed onto a tree in the woods reads "Thanks, Folks!"
1968
1968: U.S. & State Forest Services Stamp
A poster is broken up into four squares. The first depicts Smokey and reads "Only you can prevent wildfires." The second depicts a match and reads "Use fire carefully." The third depicts Smokey tipping his hat and reads "thanks folks, for being careful." The fourth image depicts two boys playing baseball and reads "Smokey's friends don't play with matches."
1968: Kukla and Ollie
1968: Rod Serling
1969
1969: Bomb in the Forest
1969: The Deadliest Animal