Where did the Teddy Bear get its name?
The beloved toy we've come to know today as the "Teddy Bear" was named after
the 26th President of the United States, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.
According to one legend, Roosevelt was settling a border dispute between
Louisiana and Mississippi in 1902. During this trip, he attended a bear hunt
in Mississippi where a fellow hunter captured an injured bear, tied it to a
tree and asked Roosevelt to shoot it. But Roosevelt didn't have the heart to
kill the defenseless bear. The Washington Post ran an editorial cartoon
created by the cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman that illustrated the event
called "Drawing the Line." The cartoon and the story became popular and was
published in newspapers all over the country.
Store owners Morris and Rose Michtom in New York saw the cartoon. Rose made some
small stuffed bears to sell in their store. Morris wrote to Roosevelt requesting
his permission to call the bears "Teddy Bears". President Roosevelt granted them
the usage of his nickname, but added that he did not think using his name would
help sell the bears. The bears proved to be a hit and rest is history.