Dedicated: May 3, 2003 
SPONSOR: International Paper Company

"The Teddy Bear is Born"

On November 12, 1902, the Washington Post reported that President Theodore Roosevelt was headed to Smedes, Mississippi, 25 miles north of Vicksburg, for a 4-day bear hunt.  The article said the president "did not anticipate the pleasure of killing a bear so much as the pleasure of a few days complete recreation in the woods."

The guide for the hunt was Holt Collier, a scout during the Civil War and later a guide for Gen. Wade Hampton.  Collier had helped kill 1000 bears, nearly 150 in a single season. 

On November 14, the hounds cornered a 235-pound bear.  Collier tied it to a tree and called for the president.  When Roosevelt arrived, he would not shoot the bear.  

Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman drew Roosevelt with a little bear tied to a tree with the caption, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi."  Soon toy manufacturers were producing "Teddy's Bears," later called Teddy Bears.

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