Today is Winnie the Pooh Day! It is also the birthday of his creator, A.A. Milne. Mine was born on January 18, 1882. I adore Winnie the Pooh. Always have, always will. In fact, growing up my nickname was “Pooh Bear.” We can keep that fact just between us, right? Thanks! In honor of Winnie the Pooh Day, here are some fun facts about Winnie the Pooh.
– Christopher Robin renamed the bear Winnie after a bear in the London Zoo of the same name in honor of the Winnipeg regiment of the Canadian Army. The “Pooh” portion of his name came from the name of a swan in When We Were Very Young.
– Winnie the Pooh first appeared in print the London Evening News in a story called “The Wrong Sort of Bees” published on December 24, 1925.
– Winnie-the-Pooh, the book, was published in 1926, followed by Now We Are Six in 1927, and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928.
– The hyphens were dropped in 1961 when Disney purchased the rights to the characters.
– The Hundred Acre Wood is quite similar to the Ashdown Forest in southern England, which is close to where the Milne’s lived.
– The original Pooh animals – Winnie, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger – can be seen in New York Public Library, with the exception of the adorable Roo, who was lost around 1930 in an apple orchard. They’ve been there since 1987 and thousands of young readers and their grownups visit the animals each year in their new quarters in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
– Their location has been a source of controversy. In 1998, a British Member of Parliament wanted them returned to England, but they stayed in the U.S.
– If you’re in London, stop by the National Portrait Gallery where you can find this image of Milne, Christopher Robin and the original Winnie the Pooh taken by Howard Coster in 1926.
– Sterling Holloway voiced Winnie the Pooh in the Disney featurettes until 1977. Holloway also provided the voice of Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.
– The silly old bear has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“So they went off together. But wherever they
go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in
that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a
little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
– The House at Pooh Corner
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