On 21st August 1920, a boy was born in Chelsea. He was named Christopher Robin, and his father, the author A. A. Milne, would use him as inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Winnie, the bear in the stories, is based on a teddy bear which in turn is named after a bear from the London Zoo named Winnipeg. The bear was owned by a Canadian Lieutenant named Harry Colebourn, who purchased the bear in Canada as a cub, and smuggled the bear over to England one his way to fight in World War I. Lt. Colebourn named the bear after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The bear became known as Winnie, and Lt. Colebourn left the bear with the London Zoo when he was deployed to France. Upon returning from the war, he donated the bear to the Zoo.
On his many trips to the zoo, Christopher Robin Milne saw the bear, and ended up naming a teddy bear he had Winnie. In addition to Winnie the teddy bear, Christopher Robin had a stuffed kangaroo, donkey and tiger. All these toys became the inspiration for A.A. Milne's stories of the 100 acre wood.
Sadly, A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, as well as Lt. Colebourn and Winnipeg the bear have all left us now, but the stories live on, and the original stuffed toys of Winnie, Kanga, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet can be seen on display at the Donnell Library Centre at 20 West 53rd Street in New York City, just north of Rockefeller Center.