“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

The Original Teddy Bear

The Original Teddy Bear Marker image. Click for full size.
May 6, 2018
1. The Original Teddy Bear Marker
According to a famous story, a Louisiana Black Bear was the inspiration for the first “teddy bear.” In 1902, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was hunting in Louisiana and Mississippi. The hunt went on for days without success, and by the last day, Roosevelt had still not bagged a bear. His hosts, anxious to send the President home with a trophy, captured a Louisiana Black Bear for him to shoot. Outraged by the lack of sportsmanship, the president refused to fire on the animal.

Shortly thereafter, an editorial cartoon by Clifford Berryman depicted the incident and portrayed the bear as a cuddly cub. An inspired Brooklyn store owner, who observed the public fascination with the incident, asked and received permission from the White House to sell his stuffed toy bears as “Teddy Bears," named after the President. The plush, lovable bears were a hit, and a staple of American culture was born.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsCommunicationsGovernment & Politics

The Original Teddy Bear Marker image. Click for full size.
May 6, 2018
2. The Original Teddy Bear Marker
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Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt series list.
Location. 29° 55.172′ N, 90° 7.821′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker can be reached from Magazine Street. Located inside the Audubon Zoo. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans LA 70118, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Swamp People (a few steps from this marker); Trenasse Cutter (a few steps from this marker); The Flood of 1927 (within shouting distance of this marker); Boré Plantation - Audubon Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Audubon Zoo's Whooping Crane Legacy (approx. ¼ mile away); Audubon Zoo (approx. ¼ mile away); Classic Designs (approx. 0.4 miles away); DeDroit Residence (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
More about this marker. Located inside the Audubon Zoo, in the Louisiana Swamp display.
Drawing the line in Mississippi image. Click for full size.
Clifford Kennedy Berryman - Library of Congress, October 16, 1902
3. Drawing the line in Mississippi
“Photograph reproduces a newspaper cartoon in the Washington Post. The cartoon is a detail from a series called "The Passing Show" about President Theodore Roosevelt's purported refusal to shoot a chained bear while on a hunting trip in Mississippi. The little bear, Bruin, became so popular that Berryman used him frequently in later cartoons on many different topics. Although Berryman helped popularize the association of Teddy Roosevelt with bears, he did not invent the toy teddy bear. (Source: Teddy Bear Men: Theodore Roosevelt and Clifford Berryman, by Linda Mullins, 1987, p. 32-3.)” – Library of Congress
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 7, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 7, 2018.   3. submitted on May 8, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Sep. 28, 2022