March Seventeenth, 03/17/1918
On Saint Patrick’s Day Clifford Berryman shows a determined Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves and preparing to use a large club to deal with the many German propagandist snakes slithering in the grass around him. Teddy bear is by his side wielding a smaller stick. Throughout World War I the U.S. Government was forced to divert substantial resources to counter skilled German propaganda aimed at weakening the resolve of the American people to continue the war effort. Berryman uses the Saint Patrick’s day theme of driving the snakes out of Ireland as a model for driving out the German propagandists.
Happy first day of spring! This political cartoon by Clifford K. Berryman was featured on the front of the Washington Evening Star in 1918.
With another spring upon the U.S., Berryman depicted the need to hurry production again for World War I. Uncle Sam is seen here issuing his order to speed up shipbuilding and to start digging the soil, while another reminder to buy Liberty Bonds lies below him and the westward drive behind him.
The Big Spring Drive by Clifford K. Berryman, 3/25/1918, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6011372)
In honor of today’s holiday, we are featuring The Congressional Santa Claus by Clifford Berryman. In the cartoon, Berryman alludes to the pending appointments which will accompany the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt, newly elected to a full term in his own right. President Roosevelt appears as Santa Claus while members of Congress dressed in children’s clothes, gather round like expectant little boys. Santa Teddy is about to shake an unusual Christmas tree, a patronage tree filled with tags representing the many positions soon to be available in the new administration, such as diplomatic posts, postmaster positions, U.S. marshals, and revenue collectors. Vice President-elect Charles W. Fairbanks (a U.S. Senator at the time) beams from the center of the crowd, claiming to be content with the well-packed stocking he holds. Berryman’s famous teddy bear is also among the happy group. He sits beneath the tree examining the contents of his own Christmas stocking.
The Congressional Santa Claus by Clifford Berryman, 12/25/1904, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6010510)
Clifford Berryman and the Teddy Bear
Political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman is credited with introducing the teddy bear into American vernacular after President Theodor Roosevelt famously refused to shoot an old, haggard bear during a hunting trip. Berryman changed the old bear into a cute, cuddly “teddy bear” — named for the President — and it became a common symbol in Berryman’s cartoon. The cartoon featured today shows a self-portrait of Berryman drawing his famous teddy bear in 1904.
The Center for Legislative Archives maintains over 2,400 original pen-and-ink Berryman cartoon. Learn more about Berryman and his drawings by visiting our online exhibit, Running for Office.
Self-Portrait of Clifford Berryman, 1904, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 2979338)