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If You Love Teddy Bears, You Are Officially An Arctophile

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!

  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first use of the term teddy bear to 1906
  • 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.
  • Let’s not forget the Muppet character Fozzie Bear. The lovable and comedic bear endlessly perseveres with one-liners, slapstick and musical comedy.
  • The classic song, ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic.’  was written in 1907, shortly after teddy bears were first manufactured in Europe and America.
  • The Teddy Bears’ Picnic song was originally called The Teddy Bear Two Step.
  •  It was composed in 1907 by JK Bratton. Its words by Jimmy Kennedy were added in 1932.
  • In 1902 Germany, the Steiff family developed a silk-like fabric bear, based on zoo animals. They caused a sensation at a toy fair and were snapped up by an American buyer.
  • They aren’t just for children – 40% of teddy sales are for adults, and a quarter of us still has our childhood companion.
  • A teddy bear has been into space! Magellan T Bear boarded Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995 as part of a school project.
  • If you love teddy bears, you are officially an arctophile (say “ark-toe-file”)! That’s from the Greek words arctos (meaning bear) and philos (meaning loving).
  • There’s probably no bigger arctophile than Jackie Miley of South Dakota, USA.  She holds the Guinness World Record for having the most teddy bears — 8,026 at the time the record was set in 2012!  She has so many, she keeps them in a separate house across the street from where she lives.
  • The story of Goldilocks And The Three Bears was written in 1837 by Robert Southey who was the Poet Laureate at the time.
  •  In Southey’s original story, the visitor to the bears’ house was an ugly old woman. Goldilocks only entered the tale in later versions.
  •  Bear hugs predate teddy bears by 60 years. The term bear-hug was first recorded in 1846.


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