On September 9th, National Teddy Bear Day honors the history of one of childhood’s favorite toys. We have all had a special cuddly teddy as a child. Some of us still have our teddy bear from our childhood. No matter what kind of teddy bear you had, the day is a perfect time to celebrate your childhood friend!

It is believed Teddy Bears defend from monsters while we sleep. 
It is believed Teddy Bears defend from monsters while we sleep.

In 1902, American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting in Mississippi. The incident made national news. Clifford Berryman published a cartoon of the event in the Washington Post on November 16th, 1902, and the caricature became an instant classic.

This cartoon by Clifford Berryman's publish in a 1902 Wiashington Post inspired the Teddy bear.

This cartoon by Clifford Berryman’s published in a 1902 Washington Post inspired the Teddy bear.

The Berryman cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt and the cub inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom. He created a new toy and even had a name in mind. Michtom wrote President Roosevelt to ask permission to name the new toy a “Teddy Bear.”

A teddy bear does not depend on mechanics to give him the semblance of life. He is loved – and therefore, he lives. ~ Pam Brown

Since the advent of the Teddy Bear, a parade of famous characters followed.

Big Bird from Sesame Street named his Teddy Bear Radar. The lasagna loving cat celebrated on Garfield the Cat Day armed himself with Pooky, his lovable scapegoat. The British invasion of Teddy Bears includes Winnie-the-Pooh and Paddington. In 1981, the Care Bears first became greeting cards. Not long after, they launched into television and toy history.

And let’s not forget the Muppet character Fozzie Bear. The lovable and comedic bear endlessly perseveres with one-liners, slapstick and musical comedy. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTeddyBearDay

Share some of your favorite Teddy Bear characters from a time gone by. Are they recent interpretations of the lovable creature? Or do you have an affinity for the classic Teddy Bear? Other ways to celebrate include:

  • Giving a Teddy Bear to someone you love.
  • Donate Teddy Bears to a local organization for children.
  • Host a Teddy Bear tea party with your children.

Share your memories of Teddy Bears using #NationalTeddyBearDay to post on social media.