Have a Party With Your Bear Day
annually on November 16th
Since today's holiday refers to "your" bear, it is likely that the day is dedicated to people having parties with their teddy bears, unless of course, they happen to have a pet bear, then it is perfectly acceptable for them to sit down and have some cake with their pet. A day dedicated to teddy bears and parties can be fun for everyone, but children may especially may be drawn to it.
It is unknown how the holiday got its start, but teddy bears were created in the early 20th century. In November 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter, went on a hunting excursion organized by Mississippi's governor, Andrew Longino, in Smedes, Mississippi. Roosevelt was accompanied by some aides, other hunters, and reporters, as well as a hunting guide, Holt Collier, and his hunting dogs. After a few days without success, Roosevelt and the hunting dogs were on the trail of a black bear. Having thought that they had lost the bear, Roosevelt went back to camp, but Collier and his dogs kept searching. Collier and his dogs found the 235 pound bear, and the dogs circled it and began biting and attacking it. The bear killed one of the dogs, and Collier clubbed the bear over the head and tied it to a tree. He bugled for Roosevelt, who found the bear mauled from the the dogs, and refused to shoot it. He also forbade anyone else from shooting it, but as the bear was so injured, he had the bear put out of its misery by having it be killed with a hunting knife.
A few days later, a cartoon titled "Drawing the line in Mississippi", which showed Roosevelt refusing to shoot the bear, was drawn by Clifford Berryman, and appeared in the Washington Post. Rose and Morris Mitchom, store owners in New York City, saw the cartoon and were inspired to create the teddy bear, which they originally called "Teddy's bear". They eventually founded the Ideal Toy Company which produced the bears, and even allegedly wrote to Roosevelt asking his permission to use his name for their bear. About the same time as the Mitchom's debuted their bear, Richard Steiff of Germany created a stuffed teddy bear as well, which also became very popular.
Since the creation of the teddy bear, it has become an American icon. It is one of the most popular toys and comfort items for children, and has also been featured in songs, television shows, and movies. Teddy bears have also become important collector's items for adults. But, maybe adults don't just collect bears because of their monetary value. A recent study found that over half of adults still have their favorite stuffed animal they grew up with, 40% sleep with it by their side, and 70% said they want to keep it for the rest of their lives! So, although children may enjoy having a party with their teddy bear, it shouldn't be too hard for adults to participate too.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by having your friends and their teddy bears over for a party. If you have children, you could also have them invite their friends and their friends' teddy bears over. How about a tea party with the bears? How about eating cake with the bears? How about putting on some music and dancing with the bears? The possibilities are endless!