Have you ever pondered how the The Teddy Bear got its name? Well, you can thank President Roosevelt for the inspiration!
President Roosevelt was a man of honor and good deeds. On November 16, 1902 the Washington Post ran a political cartoon that would forever go down in history. When President Theodore Roosevelt decided to take a hunting trip to Mississippi with Governor, Andrew H. Longino. They wanted to go black bear hunting, after arriving to their camp location Theodore hadn’t seen a single bear the first day, second day or third day.
The hunt guides tracked down a black bear using their dogs who tracked it down and attacked the bear. After the guides arrived, they tied the bear to a huge willow tree and called the President so he could have the honors. Roosevelt looked at the bear, skinny, undernourished and vulnerable bear and he did not shoot the bear. Roosevelt said it would be unsportsmanlike and didn’t kill the bear. Although, it’s said the bear was in a lot of misery so he ordered that it be put down to end its misery.
And this is how the cartoon to the left was birthed by artists. The cartoon is called “Drawing The Line In Mississippi.” As soon as journalists and Newspaper companies heard the cartoon spread across the country. Political cartoon artist Clifford Berryman produced the story and drew the cartoon showing the President refusing to shoot the bear while hunting in Mississippi.
This is how “The Teddy Bear,” was born. They named it after Roosevelt. Toy makers took the story and created the cartoon. Roosevelt stands in the front with his hand facing outward, in the background, we see the guide and bear are both there, equal size and harnessing the bear. And that’s how President Roosevelt was connected to the Teddy Bear—rapid popularity came and mass production.
And the bear has the same popularity that it did in the year of 1902—because people don’t process the bear as a “fearful,” animal, we’ve been conditioned to think they are loving and cuddly, which has a lot to do with President Roosevelt’s actions. Can you believe that one persons actions years ago, still affect us today? It’s absolutely amazing how things come to be in existence.