Geek Trivia

Which Public Service Announcement Mascot Has Their Own ZIP Code?

McGruff the Crime Dog
Goldy Gopher
Woodsey the Owl
Smokey Bear
Sci-Fi Classic Dune Was Published By A Publisher Specializing In?

Answer: Smokey Bear

There are lots of hardworking public service announcement mascots out there: Woodsey the Owl, McGruff the Crime Dog, and Eddie Eagle to name a few. None of those mascots are so popular as to merit having their own specialized mail-delivery zipcode, however, except for Smokey “Only you can prevent forest fires” Bear.

What boosted Smokey to the kind of fame that brings in truckloads of fanmail was the decision of the U.S Forest Service to adopt an actual bear to serve as the mascot. In 1950 workers rescued a bear cub from a massive wildfire in New Mexico and adopted it as a living embodiment of Smokey Bear. The bear cub proved to be so popular with children across the country that the Forestry Service started receiving piles of fan mail. So much fan mail, in fact, that by 1964 the U.S. Post Office assigned Smokey his own mailing zip code to make sorting the bags of fan mail easier. That zip code, for the curious, is 20252.

Smokey the Bear went on to live at the National Zoo for the remaining 26 years of his life and, after dying of old age, was buried in Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, New Mexico. The Smokey Bear character remains the most popular public service announcement mascot in U.S. history and licensing of his image brings in millions of dollars every year to help fund fire prevention education efforts.