A Bear-y Inspiring Story About America’s 26th President
Fifth graders, who study American history, recently read about Theodore Roosevelt, revealing a very warm-and-fuzzy (literally) story about how the 26th president inspired one of the country’s most beloved stuffed animals. Luciana R. shared the story in a recent assignment.
Theodore Roosevelt was a president everyone loved—especially the press, who always had amusing and interesting stories to share about him. One of those stories was when he went hunting with the governor of Mississippi in 1902. The guides tied a bear to a tree for Roosevelt to shoot so he could say he killed a bear. But Roosevelt thought that was not fair and he refused to kill it. Because of this story, a toymaker in Brooklyn sent a letter to the president asking if he could make a stuffed toy bear and name it the “Teddy bear.” Roosevelt said, “Yes.” But then people started calling the president Teddy, which he didn’t like, but the nickname stuck anyway.
Roosevelt had six children. The oldest was Alice. There were rumors she kept a snake in her purse. The family loved to play pranks on each other. The kids played lots of games in the White House, including roller-skating inside! Sometimes the press had to wait for Roosevelt while he played tag and other games with his kids. Roosevelt said, “I don’t think any family has enjoyed the White House more than we have.”
One of his big accomplishments as president was the building of the Panama Canal. It allowed boats to take a shortcut from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It was not easy. About 6,000 men died from malaria that was carried by mosquitoes. They also had to cut through very thick jungle.
You may not have been to the Panama Canal, but you probably had a teddy bear!