This Day In Writing History
On August 21st, 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born. His father was British writer A.A. Milne, who began his career as a playwright, writing over 25 plays. When his son was a year old, he received a teddy bear as a present. Christopher Robin would later name it Winnie-the-Pooh, after two real-life animals he encountered: Winnie, a Canadian black bear he saw at the London Zoo, and Pooh, a swan he saw while on vacation.
Christopher Robin's growing collection of stuffed animals, including a piglet, a tiger, a donkey, and a kangaroo, inspired his father to try his hand at writing children's stories. His son's teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, would be the main character, and the animals' human friend, a young boy, would be named after Christopher Robin. In 1925, A.A. Milne bought a country estate, Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex, which would serve as the inspiration for Pooh's home, the Hundred Acre Wood.
Winnie-the-Pooh would first appear in a series of short stories published in magazines and newspapers, including Vanity Fair and the London Times. In 1926, A.A. Milne published a short story collection in book form, called Winnie-the-Pooh, portions of which were adapted from the earlier stories. It would be followed by a second story collection, The House At Pooh Corner (1928). Both books were illustrated by Ernest Shepard, who used the real Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals as models for the illustrations.
In 1966, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends made their film debut in an animated Disney featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. It was such a hit that Disney made two more featurettes, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974). Three years later, Disney cast Pooh in his first feature-length film, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), which would become one of their all-time classics.
More movies followed, and the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise would include a TV series, animated TV specials, and even video games. The enduring, beloved character and his forest friends continue to win new generations of fans, both young and old.
And it all began over eighty years ago, with a little boy named Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals.
Quote Of The Day
"The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief — call it what you will — than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course." - A.A. Milne
Today's video features a reading of A.A. Milne's children's poem, Disobedience. Enjoy!