In 1902, former United States president Theodore Roosevelt went on a bear-hunting trip to Mississippi. Although his competitors had already killed a beast, Roosevelt remained unsuccessful. To help their dear president, some of his men hunted down a black bear, captured it and tied it to a tree so that Roosevelt could come and shoot it. However, he declared such an act unsportsmanlike and refused to shoot the animal (but he did order it to be killed to be put out of its misery).
A pair of New York toymakers by the names of Morris and Rose Michtom had a brilliant idea of exploiting this story and created a stuffed bear, nicknaming it a “Teddy” bear in honour of Theodore Roosevelt. At the same time, a German toymaking company called Steiff also began making teddy bears and exported them to America. Both are considered the original teddy bears.
Today the teddy bear is one of the most popular, classic toys for children, offering them a soft, fluffy object to hug and love (often growing attached to it). It also created a new image of cuteness, as evidenced by characters such as Winnie the Pooh, to an otherwise ferocious beast that is capable of mauling a person to death within minutes.