Teddy bear, about 1903
A conservationist who also loved to hunt big game, President Theodore Roosevelt made news by refusing to shoot a bear cub on a hunting trip in 1902. Inspired by a political cartoon in the Washington Star depicting Roosevelt with the cub, the Ideal Toy Company created the "Teddy bear." A cuddly alter ego for the macho Roosevelt, the toy became a popular culture icon. In 1963 the son of the toy company's founder presented one of the original stuffed bears to Roosevelt's son Kermit, who donated it to the Smithsonian along with other mementos of his father.
Presidential Memorabilia, Toys