American Freedom Museum: Fun Fact Friday

Q: What popular stuffed toy was named for a president?

A: The Teddy Bear. The adventurous Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was a great outdoorsman and loved to hunt. However, a 1902 newspaper cartoon by Clifford Berryman showed the president in a different light. In Berryman’s drawing, Roosevelt refuses to shoot a defenseless bear cub that had been captured and held by a rope. Based on a true incident, the cartoon showed the kinder, gentler side of Roosevelt. Inspired by Berryman’s cartoon, Morris Mitchom created the first Teddy Bear, and his brainstorm was such a success that it led to the founding of the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. One of the first Teddy Bears lives at the Smithsonian. (Smithsonian Presidential Trivia)