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Teddy Bear Picnic Day
"🎶 If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguise
For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
Because today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic"
~ The Teddy Bears' Picnic, 1907
Friend and companion to millions of children across the world, the Teddy Bear has been celebrated in poetry, song, stories and film and even has a special day set aside for picnicking! Today's Teddy Bear Picnics are popular opportunities for young children to bring a bear or the stuffed animal of their choice for stories, games, and the singing of bear-related songs. The most famous recording of their namesake song, the 1932 Henry Hall recording "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" (of such an especially good quality with a large tonal range) was used for more than 30 years by BBC audio engineers (up until the early 1960s) to test and calibrate the frequency response of their audio equipment! The ubiquitous and cuddly Teddy Bear owes its name to former United States President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, when the toy was popularized in the United States and Germany during the early 1900s. But in days long past, bears were so feared in Northern Europe that people would superstitiously not refer to them by their actual name lest even uttering the word might summon a bear to wreak havoc! Bears would be obliquely referred to as bruins, or “the brown ones.” 🐻 🧸 🍉
Today's Teddy Bear has come a long way since the 20th century. They strive for world records, travel the world, dress up in kilts and couture, and inspire collectors and artists! Including their day for summer picnicking, they also have a special day in September, September 9th, Teddy Bear Day.
Here are some other interesting facts about Teddies in our time:
The smallest commercially available stitched teddy bear is a mere 0.29 inches tall, made by South African “microbear” maker Cheryl Moss, whose largest creations are just taller than half an inch.
The world’s largest stitched teddy bear was made in 2008 in America, where bigger is better. The 55-foot-4 creation is named C.T.Dreams, which stands for Connect the Dreams, and you can visit it at the Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas.
For those with lower ceilings, 6 ft tall bears are available from many vendors for home decor and lawbreakers who occasionally try to substitute a giant teddy bear for a human passenger in carpool lanes.
Between 2009 and 2010, British company ISPY sent teddy bear Raymondo on a trip that gave him the status of the world’s most traveled toy mascot. In less than a year, he traveled 395,605 miles, hitting six continents and 35 countries with airline crew members and sponsors.
Magellan T. Bear became the first teddy bear in space when he boarded Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995. But he wasn’t just a bear on holiday—he was the “education specialist” on the mission, having been a project for a Colorado elementary school. The teddy bear later flew around the world, visited the South Pole, and more.
Jackie Miley, from Hilly City, South Dakota, has the world’s biggest teddy bear collection. As of 2012, she owned 8,026 cuddly bears.
Teddy Bear Museums exist in many countries with visitors from all over.
The world's first Teddy Bear Museum was based in Petersfield, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1984, it housed a collection of antique teddy bears and related items. It closed in 2006.
The British broadcaster Gyles Brandreth founded a Teddy Bear Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon. After 18 years it was relocated to the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, London and then, in 2016, relocated again to Newby Hall, near Ripon, in North Yorkshire.
The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green also has an extensive range of teddy bears as does the Jeju Teddy bear museum in South Korea and the Izu Teddy Bear Museum in Itō, Shizuoka, Japan in 1995.
Other currently operating Teddy Bear Museums include:
Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, Dorchester, England
The Merrythought Teddy Bear Shop & Museum, Shropshire, England
The Den of Marbletown, Teddy Bear Museum, Kingston, New York, U.S.
Deutsches Teddybären Museum (German Teddy Bear Museum)
Teddy Bear Museum Pattaya, Thailand
TeddyVille Museum, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia -opened 2016
Teseum, Teddy Bear Safari Theme Park, Jeju Island, South Korea
Nasu Teddy Bear Museum, Japan
Hida Takayama Teddy Bear Eco Village, Takayama, Japan
My lovely Bear Teddy Museum, Yaroslavl, Russia
To hear the famous 1932 recording, click the Teddy Bear Picnic by Janet Kruskamp.