National Teddy Bear Day

Teddy party

Photo Credit: Haversack
(Creative Commons)
9th September

National Teddy Bear Day takes place in the US on September 9th. Initially a US specific holiday this is increasingly being celebrated by bear lovers across the world. There appears to be no record of the origin of this holiday or why this particular date was chosen - perhaps the bears themselves know?

Teddy bears are, of course, named after US President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. The name came about after a 1902 hunting expedition. The hunt had found no game, so at the end of the day someone brought out a baby bear and suggested that Roosevelt might like to shoot it instead. Roosevelt understandably felt that this was not exactly sporting and refused. The incident was illustrated in a newspaper cartoon entitled "Drawing the Line" - which also referred to the political situation at the time. An enterprising New York toymaker saw an opportunity and brought out a cute stuffed bear named "Teddy's Bear". The rest, as the say, is history.

Today people buy teddy bears across the world, not just for young children but often for themselves as collectibles. Some early bears by well known names such as Steiff or Gund are rare and much sought after by enthusiasts.

So if anyone deserves an annual holiday it's certainly the Teddy Bear. How they celebrate their special day depends on their owner. Some people like to take their bear out on a trip, others like to organise a toy party and perhaps even buy their bear gifts. If all inspriation fails, there's always the traditional picnic - I've never known a bear turn one down!

Confusingly there's also a National Teddy Bear Day in November. That special day was created by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company in 2000 to celebrate the contribution the teddy has made to popular culture.