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.
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.
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'.