How the Teddy Bears Got Their Name

by Arnold Nelson

This story is basically true I have enhanced some of the facts to make it a better sounding story. I hope you enjoy it.

In the 1860s and 1870s there was a boy growing up in New York City. His health was not very good and he had a lot of problems because of it. He also had asthma. When he became a teenager people told them that he should go out West, that the pure clean air out West would make stronger. So finally one day he went out West. He had a good time there and sure enough he started feeling better. After that every chance he could he would go West. Eventually his health problems cleared up and he became a strong adult. He eventually bought two cattle Ranches in South Dakota and he would go out there every chance he could.

This man loved to hunt he would hunt every animal he could and he killed an awful lot of them some for science and some just for sport. This man became president of the United States. His name was Theodore Roosevelt. People call them Teddy but he hated that.

One day while he was sitting in the White House he was thinking about hunting and he realized he never shot a bear and he really wanted to. So he got together with some of his friends, some of his aides, and some reporters and they went to Mississippi for a hunting trip. The reason they went to Mississippi is the governor of Mississippi had been trying for a long time to get Theodore Roosevelt to visit the state and go hunting.

They were there for quite a while and they never saw a bear. One morning one of his aides came up to Teddy We have captured a bear and tied him to a tree over there.

Teddy said Bully. Then he followed the aid to where the tree was. He saw an old bear tied to a tree. He picked up his gun and started to aim it. Then he put the gun down took off his glasses and cleaned them. He picked up the gun again and started to aim it. Then he put the gun down took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. He picked up the gun a third time and started to aim it but then he put the gun down and he said I can't shoot that bear it would not be sporting. Let him go.'

So the aides untied the bear and set him free. The newspaper reporters ran a cartoon of Teddy pardoning the bear. And it ran the story of how the Teddy Roosevelt set the bear free.

About the same time in upstate New York there was a toy maker and and his wife. He made all kinds of toys mostly out of wood, she would sew dolls and doll clothes. One day she sewed a bear. She put it in the window and it went very fast. The next day she sewed two more, they went fast. Then she sewed four and they went fast. Then she sewed eight. It took all day but they sold them all.

One night the toymaker asked wife what she wanted to name the new bears. They were selling so well they needed a name. She had no idea what to name it. The toymaker said he was just reading the story about Teddy Roosevelt pardoning the bear. He said We should call them teddy bears after the president.

His wife agreed and she said Don't you think we ought asked the president for his permission before we use his name. The toymaker agreed.

So the wife made a special bear for the president and put it in a box and added a note. The note read We are now selling these stuffed bears and we would like to put your name on them and call them Teddy bears if it is all right with you. Then she said the box to the White House.

It was a while before they heard anything but finally they got a letter from president Roosevelt. Roosevelt wrote I don't know how much help my name would be in selling you cute little bears, but if you think it will help, you have my permission to use it.

So ever since that day they had been called Teddy bears.

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