With Valentine’s Day upon us, many people and their significant others will be exchanging gift, including flowers, candy and teddy bears. On February 15, 1903, the first teddy bear was introduced in Brooklyn, by Morris Michtom, who placed two stuffed bears in his shop window, calling them Teddy Bears after getting President Theodore Roosevelt’s permission to use his nickname.

The term “teddy bear” came  a year earlier, in reference to a political cartoon depicting President  Roosevelt on a hunting trip refusing to shoot a bear his attendants cornered, clubbed and tied to a tree. Since then, teddy bears have become staples of Valentine’s Day, and a best friend and secure companion for young children.

Teddy Bears in Pop Culture

Their popularity has also been featured in the world of film, television and pop culture thanks to the likes of popular songs like “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” and “Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley, Winnie the Pooh (who was based on a real toy bear author A.A. Milne’s son played with), the Ted movies starring Mark Wahlberg, and even were secondary characters on TV shows such as Family Guy and Sesame Street.

Click here to see our curated gallery of Teddy Bear images.