Distilled #13: An Environmental Cowboy from the 1970s

Remember the fire-fighting mascot Smokey Bear? Meet Johnny Horizon, his little-remembered, pollution-fighting counterpart.

March 17, 2020

Johnny Horizon

In 1970s America, environmentalism was in the air. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wanted to get in on the game, so they created a mascot, Johnny Horizon. He was something of an environmental cowboy who asked people to take a pledge not to litter (and millions of Americans actually took it). One remnant of this era, an environmental test kit, is part of our collections at the Science History Institute. In this Distilled video we examine the legacy of the BLM’s unusual mascot.