Everyone raised with love and care had at least one teddy bear. Teddy bears have become a global symbol of love, nostalgia, and comfort, providing a companion to young children and shaping their childhood memories. Many adults still sleep with their favorite teddy bear from childhood, but few know that the first teddy bear was made to honor Theodore Roosevelt.
Who was Theodore Roosevelt?
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. After William McKinley died in 1901, Roosevelt took over as a Republican. He ran for president in 1904 and won with 366 electoral votes. Roosevelt attended Harvard University, where he spent his school breaks playing sports and going on hunting trips.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Receive selected content straight into your inbox.
Roosevelt’s hunting interest
Theodore Roosevelt was greatly interested in hunting and animals from a young age. As president, he set up 230 million acres of protected land, including bird reserves, parks, monuments, game preserves, and forests. Roosevelt also went to Africa to collect specimens of his hunts, killing 17 lions, 9 hyenas, 11 elephants, 7 cheetahs, and 3 leopards.
Roosevelt’s compassion for the bear
On November 4, 1902, Roosevelt went bear hunting near Onward, Mississippi. He was presented with a Louisiana black bear as a trophy, but he refused to shoot it and instructed them to release it. Clifford Berryman, a political cartoonist, heard about the story and made a cartoon about the president’s act of mercy. Morris Michtom, the owner of a candy store in Brooklyn, saw the cartoon and created a stuffed animal in the president’s honor: the teddy bear.
How Roosevelt showed his sportsmanship
In southern Sharkey Country, Roosevelt visited the plantation of Mr. Mangrum, where Holt Collier, a famous bear hunter, guided him on a hunt. Roosevelt and his friend, Mr. Huger Foote, heard the dogs chasing a bear, but when they returned to camp for lunch, the bear had made another turn and emerged from the trees.
Holt Collier captured the bear and tied it to the tree, but Roosevelt refused to shoot it. The newspapers picked up the tale as proof of Roosevelt’s humanity and sportsmanship.
The teddy bear: A symbol of humanity
Teddy bears symbolize Roosevelt’s good sportsmanship and humanity. Today, teddy bears are given as gifts to remind people of the love, freedom, and innocence they experienced as children. A teddy bear is one of the kindest and loveliest gifts you can give. It brings immense, bright joy to the receiver’s face and reminds us of the values we need in society.