Legend has it that the term “Teddy” bear resulted from a famously unsuccessful hunt of a Louisiana black bear by then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. On a visit to Sharkey County, Miss., in 1902, he was given the opportunity to shoot a bear. To make it easier, his hosts had captured a Louisiana black bear and tied it to a tree. Roosevelt refused to shoot a tied bear and ordered the bear released. To commemorate the occasion, local merchants began selling toy “Teddy” bears.
Linda Foster Benedict
(This article appeared in the spring 2002 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)