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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."
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."