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In 1902, United States President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was on a hunting trip in Mississippi. A black bear
had been provided as a target for the president to shoot. The president considered it unsportsmanlike to shoot the
animal and refused to do so. The event was widely publicized by a cartoon that appeared in the Washington Post the
following day. The bear appeared in political cartoons and became known as "Teddy's bear." Soon, stuffed toy bears
were modeled after the cartoon. Eventually, the toys were known simply as teddy bears.
Morris Michtom, founder of the Ideal Toy and Novelty company, asked permission from the president to sell
toy bears made by his wife Rose as "teddy bears." The bears became widely popular and the Michtoms eventually
founded Ideal to accommodate production. While the Michtoms are credited with inventing the teddy bear, historical
documentation shows that the Steiff company of Germany actually produced toy teddy bears before the
Teddy bears were very popular prior to World War II. After the war, however, stuffed animals began to be
produced using synthetic materials. Interest in teddy bears declined in the '60s, but vintage teddy bears became
popular again in the '80s.