The first Teddy Bear was the brain child of Morris Michtom who was inspired by the political cartoon above. The cartoon was drawn by Clifford K. Berryman and called “Drawing the Line in Mississippi,” where President Theodore Roosevelt is depicted showing compassion for a small bear cub. Michtom liked the cartoon and showed it to his wife, Rose. Rose went to create the teddy bear. On February 15, 1903 the Russian Jewish immigrant placed the little teddy bear in his shop window at 404 Tompkins Avenue, New York.
It was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where it is currently on display. After the creation of the bear in late 1902, the sale of the bears was so brisk that Michtom created the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. Through many mergers the company was eventually part of Mattel.
The four young men landed in New York on Pan Am Flight 101. Brian Esptien, their manager, friends Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall, Phil Spector, their producer and the group the Ronettes accompanied them. The reason for their visit was their upcoming appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and a few concert dates.
They were already doing really well. They had the number 1 US single “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They also knew that Beatlemania was starting in the US. But Lennon was still pensive saying, “The thing is, in America, it just seemed ridiculous – I mean, the idea of having a hit record over there. It was just something you could never do.”
Some might say that the Beatles were so successful because the US just really needed to be happy about something, just 77 days earlier their President, John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Martin Goldsmith, author of The Beatles Come to America (Turning Points in History) disagrees. “Lennon and McCartney were superb composers – their songs were brilliant and remain brilliant.” He didn’t think it had anything to do with the timing, the Beatles were just good!
But maybe it was the $50,000 that Capitol Records spent on the campaign or the celebrities that wore Beatles wigs. Regardless, they were huge.
Ed Sullivan realized this a few months ago when he and his wife were stuck at London’s Heathrow Airport because of the masses of fans who had come to see the Beatles arrive from Sweden.
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