PHOTOS: Smokey Bear visits Veterans Home in Tilton

  • New Hampshire Veterans Home resident Anthony Nigro (right) shakes hands with Smokey the Bear at a ceremony marking the iconic bear’s 75th birthday on Thursday.

  • New Hampshire Veterans Home resident Pete Martel shakes hands with Smokey the Bear during the iconic bear’s 75th birthday on Thursday, July 11, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Smokey the Bear is introduced to the crowd at the New Hampshire Veterans Home on Thursday, July 11, 2019. The bear celebrated its 75th birthday, born out of firefighters going off to fight in World War II. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Smokey the Bear is introduced to the crowd at the New Hampshire Veterans Home on Thursday.

Published: 7/11/2019 6:33:01 PM
Modified: 7/11/2019 6:32:51 PM

Smokey Bear is turning 75 this year and the nation’s most famous mascot is touring the country to celebrate.

Smokey, or somebody who looked a lot like him, was at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton on Thursday to greet residents and maybe have a little birthday cake. Several New Hampshire Forest Rangers who are military veterans came along to discuss their experience fighting fires.

Smokey Bear – there’s no “the” in the name – was created in 1944 amid fears that Japanese bombs or naval shells would set off wildfires in the western U.S. A real bear cub, rescued after a New Mexico wildfire, became the living symbol in 1950.




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