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Teddy celebrates 100 years

A big birthday is coming up for one of the nation's most cuddly characters.

A beloved companion to millions of children, the first teddy bear actually originated with a 1902 cartoon. After President Teddy Roosevelt went on a hunting trip in Mississippi but refused to shoot a bear cub that had been captured for him, Clifford Berryman depicted the event in "Drawing the Line in Mississippi," published by The Washington Post.

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The popular cartoon inspired New York shopkeepers Morris and Rose Michtom to make a bear in honor of the president's actions. "Teddy's Bear" was an instant hit with the public.

Since the teddy bear's debut, it has had many incarnations. Black "mourning" bears were created in 1912 to remember Titanic victims, a "royal bear" honored Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and "Smokey Bear" became the USDA Forest Service's fire prevention mascot. Collectors have even spent up to $176,000 for historic versions of the toy.

Source: Teddy Bear and Friends magazine


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