September 9th is Teddy Bear Day — the official day for you to get out your best stuffed pal and make him feel special!
Give your favourite bear a hug while you check out these teddy bear facts.
Teddy bears were named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt ("Teddy" is a cute nickname for "Theodore"), after he refused to kill a bear during a hunting trip in Mississippi.
People learned what happened from a cartoon that was in the newspaper.
After seeing the cartoon, a store owner in Brooklyn, New York, made a stuffed toy bear that he called "Teddy’s Bear."
It became instantly popular.
Teddy bears were actually made in Germany.
At about the same time teddy bears were becoming popular in the United States, a toy maker in Germany named Margarete Steiff also started making cute stuffed bears.
An American visiting Germany saw the bears and ordered a whole bunch of them to be sold in the United States.
The Steiff Toy Company still makes teddy bears today — over 100 years later!
If you love teddy bears, you are officially an arctophile (say "ark-toe-file")! That’s from the Greek words arctos (meaning bear) and philos (meaning loving).
There’s probably no bigger arctophile than Jackie Miley of South Dakota, USA.
She holds the Guinness World Record for having the most teddy bears — 8,026 at the time the record was set in 2012!
She has so many, she keeps them in a separate house across the street from where she lives.
The most famous teddy is Winnie the Pooh. He was created by author A.A. Milne, who would visit a bear in the London Zoo with his son, Christopher.
That bear was actually Canadian — brought to the zoo by a soldier named Harry Colebourn.
Harry bought the baby bear in White River, Ontario. Apparently, it was normal to have pet bears back in the early 1900s.
He and named it "Winnipeg" after his hometown. The name got shortened to "Winnie.” When Harry had to go and fight in France, he left his bear at the London Zoo.
Teddy bears are popular all over the world — and beyond!
A bear named "Magellan T. Bear" joined a NASA shuttle mission in 1995. He became the first teddy bear in space.
But he’s not the only one. In June 2017, a group of school kids in England sent a teddy bear named "Roffa" 30,480 metres into the air. He was tied to a balloon as a science experiment.
The bear floated for about 4.5 hours before his return to Earth. Out of this world!