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Paddington "Safe Haven" Bear Turns 50

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Abandoned Paddington Bear hits the half-century mark.

British sensation Paddington Bear celebrates his birthday today joining the Hula Hoop, Legos and Madonna in hitting that big 5-0 milestone

Quite possibly, Paddington Bear is the most famous instance of utilizing a "Safe Haven" law. The first Paddington story, "Please Look After This Bear," first published in 1958, begins with the bear toy, abandoned in Paddington station with a the note "Please help this bear" pinned to his yellow coat.  

Paddington's adventures were indeed inspired by abandoned children. The book's author Michael Bond, has said that his memories of newsreels showing trainloads of child evacuees leaving London during the war, with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases, prompted him to do the same for his bear character.

In honor of his birthday, Google put Paddington on its homepage logo.

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