On This Day in History: February 15

What historical events happened in history today? February 15 saw the first sale of the teddy bear, but do you know the story behind its creation?

Teddy Roosevelt1903: Sale of the First Teddy Bear

The first teddy bear went on sale today in history, as Morris Michtom put two of them in his shop window. He advertised them as Teddy bears, after petitioning for the use of President Theodore Roosevelt’s nickname for it. Reports as to how the bear came about differ, but they are all linked to Roosevelt’s hunting. The most common story is that he acted mercifully by shooting an injured black bear that had been tied to a tree in the head. Others say that he set the bear free, with some saying the bear was a cub. It showed Roosevelt’s softer side and the stuffed animal remains a big seller in toy shops around the world.

1933: Anton Cermak Assassinated

Today in history, Anton Cermak was shot and later died from his injuries, in an assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. Giuseppe Zangara was quickly arrested for the killing and attempt on Roosevelt’s life and sentenced to death. It took just two weeks after Cermak’s death for Zangara to be executed on the electric chair — one of the quickest arrests-to-execution in history. Now it can take decades for inmates on death row to be executed for their crimes.

1942: Japan Take Over Singapore

Britain lost Singapore (the Gibraltar of the East) to Japan on this day in history. It had been a strategic stronghold for the British for years, but it did not take long for it to take over the country after occupying French-owned Indochina. Japan had started the battle for the country in December 1541, and after two months of fighting Britain lost. It was one of the greatest losses for the British forces.

1950: Cinderella Premieres in Movie Theaters

Cinderella featured for the first time in the United States in movie theaters. It was another story based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, and used because it was so similar to the already successful Snow White. It took six years to make the cartoon, and remains one of the most loved by children and adults.

Famous Birthdays on February 15Galileo Galilei

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei—1564

King Louis XV of France—1710

Declaration of Independence signatory Abraham Clark—1726

Piano maker Henry Steinway—1797

Suffragette activist Susan B. Anthony — 1820

Actor John Barrymore—1882

Hider of Anne Frank and family Miep Gies—1909

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman actress Jane Seymour — 1954

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening—1954

Model Janice Dickinson—1955

Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito—1995

Rapper Lil Poopy — 2003

Sources:

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Image of Theodore Roosevelt in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt#/media/File:President_Theodore_Roosevelt,_1904.jpg)

Image of Galileo Galilei in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei#/media/File:Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei,_1636.jpg)


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