The Origin of the
"Hey Bob Safety Legion"

The Hey Bob Show was originated by Robert J. Hassett of Des Moines, Iowa, and later copyrighted by Hey Bob Enterprises Inc. The idea for this program was the result of thoughtful and through consideration of the methods necessary in making our country a safer place for children. Many years of experience in working with all types of safety problems gave the background needed to make this program fit into the outline of law-enforcement and community needs.

Mr. Hassett was formerly City Traffic Engineer and later Executive Secretary and Manager of the Des Moines Safety Council. He was always been a tireless worker with all ages of children, kiddies and teen-agers alike. He was well known throughout the United States in safety groups, P.T.A's and other community and civic organizations.

How Hey Bob Worked

The Hey Bob program worked through the medium of fun and entertainment to instill the basic ideas of safety in the individual. By easy steps he/she was educated to the idea that safety is exciting and is fun. Since all children are great "joiners," the program included the "Safety Legion Club" complete with slogans, badges and buttons, secret passwords etc.

Bill Riley With the Kids

They found as a member of the Hey Bob Club, they were noticed and respected. Many great sporting events such as the Drake Relays and the Bruins Ball Club set aside a complete bleacher section for the great Hey Bob Legion. These youngsters were admitted free on presentation of their Hey Bob badge and were allowed to supervise and police their own section. Because of this and other honors, their felling of self-protection grew to include concern for the safety of their parents, their friends and neighbors. It was proven that boys and girls actively supported the rules of safety.

The Origin of the Hey Bob Dummy

During mid 40's there was a safety contest between the cities of Des Moines and Omaha. Each time one of the cities had a safety fatality, the dummy became their booby prize to keep until the other city earned it. Somehow, after the "dummy" promotion ended, the dummy ended up permanently stored in the Des Moines. Bob Hassett put him to work as an icon for the Hey Bob Safety Legion. In 1979, Bob's widow and Jerry Hassett (Bob's son), gave the dummy to Bill Riley in 1979. Since that time, it has been displayed at the Iowa State Fair and is believed to be in the custody of the Iowa State Historical Society.

Bill Riley and The Dummy - 1979 Des Moines Register


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