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How The Teddy Bear Got His Name

December 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 507

President Roosevelt visited Mississippi for a short stay to preside over border line issues that the state had with Louisiana. Of course whatever spare time he had was spent addressing other political matters that arose at the time. It was not long before the then Governor of the state, Andrew H. Longino saw it fit to ask the President to join in a bear hunting expedition. Bear hunting was a popular sport at the time and several hunters planned to compete in the hunt.

After spending three days on the hunt the hunters came up fruitless an in order to save face they devised a plan to ensure that the President was presented with an opportunity to kill a bear. The hunters along with their dogs sought out an old wounded bear that they tied to a tree and invited the President to shoot at it. The President was horrified by the offer and ordered the mercy killing of the bear so that it would not have to suffer more than it already had at the hands of the dogs.

Once cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, got word of the story he put out his interpretation of the scene and other cartoonists soon followed. Capitalizing on the growing interest in the bear a shopkeeper from Brooklyn, Morris Mictom, made two stuffed bears and got permission from the President to call them Teddy’s bears and so the teddy bear was birth. The shopkeeper’s intuition proved to be on point because it was not long before his teddy bears were in high demand. The Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. founded by Mictom still exist today.

Americans were not the only ones to embrace the teddy bear. Margarette Steiff a handicapped seamstress made stuffed animals for a living and when an American saw her creations he ordered and shipped 3000 of the bears to the United States without the knowledge that the teddy bear was already a hit there.

There was no turning back after that. Teddy bears are a much loved and almost necessary right of childhood. No nursery would be complete without a few of them and no valentine gift for a sweetheart would be the same without one of these cuddly bears. The colors, shapes, faces and size of the bears have changed over the century but just about any stuffed bear is referred to as a Teddy bear. The appearance may have changed with time but the sentiments of the bear still continue to capture our hearts and minds.

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