Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Story of the Teddy Bear

The Teddy Bear, an iconic and much beloved toy, is indeed named after our 26th President – Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. While traveling to settle a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana, Roosevelt took time out from politics to exercise one of his great passions - hunting. Having an unsuccessful day of it, other members of the hunting party wanted to make sure the President didn’t leave Mississippi empty-handed. They tied a captured black bear cub to a tree and offered it for Roosevelt to shoot. President Roosevelt was appalled and refused to harm the young, defenseless cub. Word got around and the next day the political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, made the incident famous in a cartoon.

Our nation became enthralled by the story, and soon a toy manufacturer, Morris Michtom asked his wife, Rose, to make two plush bears for display in their storefront windows. Because the bears were inspired by the hunting story, Mr. Morris wrote to the President and asked permission to call his new creation Teddy’s Bears. Roosevelt agreed. The name stuck, the public adored them, and Teddy’s Bears became all the rage. Although the “s” was dropped in 1906, the popularity of Teddy Bears has never wavered.

No comments: