Origin of the Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear sculpture
        by artist Urs Fischer
Teddy Bear sculpture by Urs Fischer in New York City
Source: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

In November 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt and some of his friends went on a hunting trip to Mississippi. After hours of searching, Roosevelt and his group had not come across any wild animals. Finally, the group did track down and surrounded a helpless bear. One of the guides asked the president to shoot the bear so he could win a hunting trophy. The president refused, and news reporters throughout the country spread the story of Roosevelt's kind act.

Not long after this took place, a famous cartoonist named Clifford Berryman drew a cartoon based on Roosevelt 's rescue of the bear. When a store owner in Brooklyn saw the cartoon, he decided to make toy bears to sell in his shop. He asked president Roosevelt for permission to use the name “"Teddy's Bear"” for his toys, as a reminder of the bear Roosevelt had set free. Nowadays, everyone knows these toys as Teddy Bears, but few people know that they were named after President Theodore “"Teddy"” Roosevelt.

November 14 has been designated American Teddy Bear Day.

Source: The U.S. Navy


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