1903, American History Museum
A presidential pardon inspired a million nurseries
Hunting in Mississippi in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt declined to shoot a bear that guides had tied to a tree. His gallantry inspired a political cartoon featuring TR and a wide-eyed cub, which inspired Brooklyn shopkeepers Morris and Rose Michtom to create a plush version, nicknamed Teddy. They started the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company and made U.S. toy history.