by HB Auld, Jr.
Today is National Winnie the Pooh Day. January 18th commemorates author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882.
Milne brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories, which also featured his son, Christopher Robin. Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often. Christopher named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh. (Thanks to National Day Calendar)
Happy National Winnie the Pooh Day and happy birthday to A.A. Milne.
Ten things you didn’t know about Winnie the Pooh:
1. Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne named the boy in his stories after his son, Christopher Robin Milne.
2. The original Pooh bear was purchased at Harrods department store in London and given by A. A. Milne to Christopher Robin on his first birthday. At first, the toy was named Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear.
3. Later, Christopher Robin changed the name of the toy to Winnie, after a real-life bear he saw at the London Zoo.
4. Real-life Winnie was a female black bear that belonged to Harry Colebourn, who was from Winnipeg, Canada. He brought her to England, where he served during World War I. Winnie’s permanent residence became the London Zoo. That’s much different from the fictional Winnie the Pooh, who is golden, male and British.
5. The fictional Hundred Acre Wood was based on the real Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest in Southeast England. Milne lived on the edge of the forest and took his son there.
6. The original manuscripts for “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” are held at The Wren Library at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in England, A. A. Milne’s alma mater.
7. You can visit some of the real stuffed animals that inspired beloved Pooh characters. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Tigger are on display at The New York Public Library in New York City.
8. Jim Cummings, an American voice actor, has been voicing Pooh since 1988, when the animated series “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” began. He is the current voice of Tigger, too.
9. Pooh got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, joining other Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Donald Duck.
10. The most recent Pooh movie was the live-action “Christopher Robin,” released in August 2018. It starred Ewan McGregor and grossed more than $197 million in worldwide box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
(Thanks to USA TODAY newspaper)