About Hug a Bear Day
The “bear” in “Hug a Bear Day” actually refers to Teddy bears. “Teddy” bears are named after the 26th President of the United States, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who served as President from 1901 to 1909.
Theodore Roosevelt’s association with bears is based on a famous story from November 1902 when he spared the life of one during a hunting expedition. This story was featured as a cartoon in the Washington Post, which inspired two New York City store owners to create the first “Teddy” bear toy.
These days Hug a Bear Day isn’t as much an acknowledgement of not shooting bears as it is promoting the benefits of hugging - there's a reason they are called cuddly toys.