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Teddy's Bear

Updated on November 10, 2011

Teddy goes a huntin'

Teddy goes a huntin' and he did ride, uh huh

Teddy goes a huntin' and he did ride

Knife and shot gun by his side, uh huh, uh huh

I'm talking about Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th president.

His first year in office (1902) proved to be a bit stressful. The November elections was behind him and he decided to take a little break. So he put on his leather leggings and he did ride, uh huh, in a private car deep into the woods of Mississippi. He had a hunting knife on his hip, and a custom-made rifle. He was a ready Teddy, but the bears were elsewhere. Teddy was disappointed and disgusted, but finally a pack of hunting dogs treed a bear. It was a scrawny little thing, dirty and stunned from the chase. He refused to shoot. The hunt lasted for 3 days but Teddy never got in a shot.

Clifford Berryman
Clifford Berryman
Washington Post
Washington Post

The Washington Post

Back in Washington stories began to emerge that the President had refused to shoot a defenseless bear. This reached the desk of Clifford Berryman, a cartoonist for the Washington Post. Berryman sketched a bewildered bear with the President turning away. It was on the front page with a caption, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi."

Readers liked it. They asked for more political cartoons. Berryman obliged, and he began to add tiny bears as a mascot to all of his cartoons. They just got cuter and cuter. The delight was widely shared, including Roosevelt. Entrepreneurs began to see commercial possibilities. A store owner in Brooklyn New York made two bears and placed them in the window, pricing them at $1.50 each, with a sign calling them, "Teddy's Bears." The public began giving orders to the store owner, and the demand was so great, he formed the Ideal Toy Co.

Then a German manufacturer added a plush bear cub to a line of stuffed animals. These had movable arms and joints. A year later, a New York store ordered 3,000 bears. Soon it became an essential part of childhood, huggable and loved by children all over the world.

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt

The 26th President

Theodore Roosevelt: (1858-1919) Succeeded to the Presidency after McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He served two terms as Republican leader and one of the first to undertake the task of awakening America to a changing world and its responsibilities in world responsibilities. He was admired for his great versatility in government affairs, his conservation undertakings and his energy as an outdoors-man.

The President disliked the nickname Teddy. Friends called him Theodore. But the country thought of him as informal. To them, he was Teddy. And the little bear became the 'Teddy Bear'.


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I knew that Theodore Roosevelt was a fair man, but I didn't know about the scrawny treed bear. His legacy is alive, but his successors are not...

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I did know how the teddy bear came about, but I love your little song to begin your hub.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Hello Dim, welcome to my hub. I will be watching you, and hope that we share many other hubs. Thanks for stopping by. seeing that profile square show up on my hubs. Keep smiling.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      What a charming intro to a historical biorgraphy. uh huh, I see you have brought smiles all around.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Voted up and pressed ALL your button here. It was like a ´grown up´version of my hub Real bears vs teddy bears´(or titled something like that) l was fascinated that it had anything to do with the President.

      Thanks for the ´follow´. l´d like to return the compliment.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Ann, its hard to imagine life without the teddy bear. I never knew the full story or finer details, but I loved the story! Its son interesting to see how things like this came into being.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      I never knew Ann..thanks for a great hub..I found this very informative. I love Teddy Bears..I just recently got my grandkids one for Christmas..

      Thank you,


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I actually had heard a bit about how the bears so loved by children of all ages became called teddy bears. Enjoyed hearing it again via your hub. Up and useful ratings.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      Quite the informative that's how the Teddy Bear came into our lives. Now I have one less thing to wonder about since you have filled me in on this one subject so well. WB

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub, I learned something too!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..yes like Jami you got me on the teddy bear sing-a-along - very clever you are but I sincerely loved your bio and tribute to the 'real' Teddy - I was always a big fan of A and E's Biography series on TV (when I had cable) .... now I am a big fan of your hubs - great subjects you have and always so well written too.

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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Your teddy bear hub caught my eye. I liked that president Theodore Roosevelt sorry I was too young to ever meet the man. I also have a passion for teddy bears and I had one with movable arms and legs. When I was too old for teddy bears I bought a fantastic sweatshirt with an adorble teddy on it and it simply said Teddy!

    • mondkill profile image

      mondkill 6 years ago

      love the teddy bear song its reminds me of my childhood... thanks for the info about Teddy Roosevelt.

      Have a nice day....


    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      PurvisBobbi44, I think everybody loves a bear. It sort of a silent hug. It's ok to grow old, but no, never grow up!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi anndavis25,

      I enjoyed reading your hub, I love bears, and I started collecting them some years ago. I started with Boyd bears, then branched out to any bear that I liked. I am a big baby, and I don't plan on growing up. LOL

      Thanks for sharing your hub,

      Have a great Sunday.


    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Jami I had fun writing it, glad it transended. Thanks for the votes.

      drbj. Yes, it was Steiff. I'm glad we still have them. Aren't you?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I have always been an admirer of Teddy Roosevelt because he wasn't afraid to take a risk to achieve a desirable outcome. Thanks for this admirable tribute to him, Ann.

      Steiff, BTW, was the first German manufacturer of plush teddy bears. Which are still available under that name today.

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 6 years ago

      Whoops ! LOL you got me ! Loved your little song in the beginning , almost sang it outloud ! lol , cool , and interesting write about Mr.Roosevelt , i enjoyed it and thank you ! forthe smile:) have a wonderful evening:)I voted up , awesome,useful,interesting :)