We generally refer to a cute, cuddly stuffed bear as “Teddy Bear” Even if the bears look different, are of different sizes or are from different makers, we still call almost any stuffed bear “Teddy.” Why is this so? Who is “Teddy”? Surprisingly, the name “Teddy” does not come from a cute little boy or some heroic man who once rescued a bear in misery, but from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt who was nicknamed “Teddy” Long time ago in 1902, President Roosevelt went on a very unsuccessful bear-hunting trip in Mississippi. Someone who was on the trip finally captured a bear and suggested the president shoot it. Roosevelt refused to shoot the helpless bear. Inspired by the president’s compassion for the bear, a cartoonist named “Clifford Berryman” depicted the incident in a cartoon in The Washington Post.
Then the cartoon inspired a candy and stationery shop owner named “Morris Michtom” in New York City to make a little stuffed bear in honor of the president’s action. Michtom named a stuffed bear “Teddy’s Bear” and placed it in his shop window. Later he received permission from Roosevelt to sell the bears and the toy became an instant success thereafter.
Hwang Dong-Hyun Ssams5@changwon.ac.kr
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