(WWTI) – Today we celebrate a childhood staple, it’s Teddy Bear Day.

The teddy bear was created to commemorate American President Theodore Roosevelt.

On Friday, November 14, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt went on a bear hunting trip near Onward, Mississippi invited by the Governor of Mississippi Andrew H. Longino. During the trip, Roosevelt had not been able to shoot a single bear. Roosevelt’s aides trapped and tied a black bear to a willow tree and summoned Roosevelt and asked him to shoot it. Roosevelt declined to shoot the bear because he thought it was highly unsportsmanlike, word of this soon traveled across the country.

Clifford Berryman, a political cartoonist, saw the report and chose to parody the president’s refusal in an amusing manner. On Sunday, November 16, 1902, Berryman’s cartoon ran in the “Washington Post” and when Morris Michtom saw the cartoon and had an idea. He and his wife Rose produced stuffed animals, and Michtom decided to make a plush toy bear for the president; he dubbed it ‘Teddy’s Bear.’

Teddy bears are very important for children and in the case of abused, neglected, abandoned and homeless children they can mean everything. The Teddy Bear Project — in an effort to improve a child’s quality of life by providing them with comfort, consolation and healing during times of major stress, distress and sadness – provides teddy bears to children up to the age of 18. More information is available about the project and how to donate on their website.

Happy Teddy Bear Day!