Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Mexico Flag - High Country LegendsNEW MEXICO LEGENDS

Smokey Bear Historical Park

Bookmark and Share

Though the Smokey Bear campaign began in 1944, the bear itself was nothing more than an image born of artists’ imaginations when he first appeared on postcards, posters, and advertisements, cautioning "Only you can prevent forest fires."

 

However, in 1950 a real baby bear became the live "Smokey” when he was rescued from certain death by firefighters in a devastating blaze in New Mexico's Lincoln National Forest.

 

As these brave men fought the blazing inferno driven by strong winds, a report came in of a lonely bear cub, who had been seen wandering near the fire line. However, the firefighters were busy trying to contain the fire and sure that its mother would come for him, they left the baby alone. 

 

The fire burned over 17,000 acres. Amidst the devastation, firefighters found a tiny bear cub clinging to the top of a tree. He was to become the heart and soul of a campaign that had begun almost a decade earlier: Smokey Bear, one of the most recognized symbols in America.

 

Smokey Bear 1944 Poster

1944 Smokey Bear Poster, this and below photo courtesy Smokeybear.com

 

 

 

New articles on Legends of America

Prevent Forest FiresWhen the man-made blaze was finally under control, it had burned over 18,000 acres, but amazingly the little cub had survived by climbing up into a tree. The firefighters spied the little cub clinging to charred tree. With badly damaged paws and hind legs, he was rescued by the firefighters before the men began to search for its mother in the blackened and bare remains of the forest. However, finding no sign of the mother, they had to assume she had lost her life in the fire. The bear was christened "Hotfoot” and taken to Santa Fe for treatment.

In no time, the news about the little bear spread throughout New Mexico and was soon picked up by the nationwide press. As the country followed the cub’s progress, he was rechristened Smokey Bear, and came to personify the advertising character created during World War II.

Smokey was then moved to Washington, DC, where he took up residence at the National Zoo, becoming so popular that he soon had his own zip code.

Two years after his rescue, in 1952, Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins wrote the "Smokey the Bear” song that would cause confusion about Smokey’s actual name.  In order to maintain the correct rhythm, the writers added a "the" between "Smokey" and "Bear."  Before long, the bear became known as "Smokey The Bear;" however, his name is and always has been "Smokey Bear.”

After receiving millions of visitors Smokey died in 1976, and though another rescued cub took his place, he never found the fame of the original Smokey. After his death, the bear was returned to its home in the Lincoln National Forest, where he was buried without fanfare.

 

In the meantime, however, the Smokey’s Museum opened in Capitan, New Mexico in 1961. The museum, housed in a rustic one room building is filled with Smokey memorabilia, photos, and posters that chronicle the history Smokey Bear and his message to prevent forest fires. Also available in the museum gift shop are all kinds of Smokey souvenirs.

 

The real Smokey Bear in Washington D.C. National Zoo

The real Smokey when he was housed at the Washington D.C. National Zoo.

 

The Museum is located a 102 Smokey Bear Blvd, on the north side of State Highway 380, just west of the intersection with State Highway 48, and just east of the Smokey Bear Historical Park.

 

Nearby, the Smokey Bear Historical Park was established in 1979, to commemorate the dead cub. Now commemorated with a headstone, the park is home to Smokey’s grave, as well as exhibits about forest health, forest fires, wildland issues, an outdoor amphitheater, playground, picnic area, and the town's original train depot.

 

The Smokey Bear campaign is the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history, with its forest fire prevention message remaining unchanged for more than 50 years. Created in 1944, it remained unchanged until April, 2001, when the Ad Council updated his message to address the increasing number of wildfires in the nation's wildlands.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October,  2010.

 

Contact Information:

Smokey Bear Museum and Gift Shop

P.O. Box 246

102 Smokey Bear Blvd

Capitan, New Mexico 88316

505-354-2247

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan, New Mexico

A view of the entrance to the Smokey Bear Museum

and Gift Shop, February, 2008

 

From Legends' General Store

Taos-Ruins-tb.jpg (86x56 -- 1490 bytes)New Mexico Postcards - If you're like we are and can't get enough of New Mexico, take a virtual tour through our many New Mexico postcards. Each one of these is unique and we have only one available, so don't wait. To see them all, click HERE!

   Cimarron-Palisades-2-tb.jpg (86x57 -- 10360 bytes)  GreetingsFromNewMexico-TB.jpg (89x57 -- 2159 bytes)     

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com