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Jake didn’t think he’d become a writer when he was growing up in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, but fate had another idea. After barely squeaking through grade 9 English, by the luck of the draw Jake found himself with the most inspiring literature instructor his small town had ever known, and grade 10 English changed his life! Suddenly, evenings once spent at the hockey rink were spent curled up on the couch with the best of Hemingway, Dickens, and John Grisham. A valedictorian address and English degree at the University of Regina later, Jake is proud to call Heywise his favorite place to pen informative quizzes about all his passion projects. If you’re reading a post and pick up a hint of classic English literature, you’re probably reading something by Jake - especially if you come away feeling like a slightly better person for it.
It happened when the United States President Theodore Roosevelt was hunting in 1902. He and Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino were competing to see who could catch an animal. A few of the men beat and tied up an American black bear. They told Roosevelt (or Teddy, as they called him despite his insistence they don't) he could shoot it. He refused, saying that was "unsportsmanlike" but someone else should put it out of its misery as it was suffering.
Days later, a comic was added to The Washington Post that made fun of this incident. Later on, people started noticing that the bear in the comic was cute and small.
Morris Michtom, the founder of the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, saw the comic and was immediately inspired to create a bear in Roosevelt's likeness. After receiving permission from Roosevelt, he crafted a cute little bear, put it up in his shop window and labeled it "Teddy's Bear." He didn't know at the time how popular the item would soon be. But today, Teddy Bears are one of the most popular, and iconic, toys in the world.
If you need proof of its timelessness, take a look at Build-a-Bear Workshop! They have an annual revenue of about $400 million. All thanks to Theodore Roosevelt. So the next time you look at a teddy bear, think about the 26th President of the United States and his refusal to kill a black bear back in 1902. That kind of mercy and compassion deserves not only to be passed onto children's toys but politicians of today as well.
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