Thursday, July 12, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt Inspires the Teddy Bear

Pol Light Moment #20 is when Theodore Roosevelt's Mississippi hunting trip in November, 1902 inspired the teddy bear. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States, serving from 1901-1909.

On November 14, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was on a bear hunting trip near Onward, Mississippi with several other people. To his disappointment Roosevelt had been unable to kill a bear for the first 3 days of the trip, so his aides, including the guide Holt Collier, captured a weak and old black bear and tied it to a tree for Roosevelt to easily kill. Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot the defenseless bear as part of the sport hunt, but because the bear was injured he directed that someone else shoot the bear and put it out of it's misery (Source).

The incident of Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a bear that was tied to a tree spawned the idea for a cartoon, which influenced the development of a toy known to this day as the teddy bear. The following is the cartoon of this moment that was done by Clifford Kennedy Berryman and was published in the Washington Post on November 16, 1902. Morris Michtom saw the cartoon and created a toy bear called "Teddy's Bear". The toy was so widely popular that it led Morris Michtom to start the Ideal Toy and Novelty Company in 1903 (Source).

This video explains the story of Theodore Roosevelt inspiring the Teddy Bear.

For more information on Theodore Roosevelt inspiring the Teddy Bear visit the Kids Corner at Theodore Roosevelt Association.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photos: The photo at the top of this post of Theodore Roosevelt is in the Public Domain. The cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt's hunting trip that inspired the Teddy Bear is also in the Public Domain.

1 comment:

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