Facebook Twitter

Mississippi state toy? Teddy just might be bully of an idea

SHARE Mississippi state toy? Teddy just might be bully of an idea

JACKSON, Miss. — Teddy bears are cute and cuddly, but should they be embraced as one of Mississippi's enduring symbols?

State Rep. Steve Holland has filed a bill to designate the teddy bear as Mississippi's state toy.

"I love 'em," the Democrat admitted this week.

He filed the bill at the request of a constituent, Sarah Doxey-Tate of Tupelo. Doxey-Tate, a retired teacher and school librarian, points to Mississippi's historical connection to the fluffy icon of childhood.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was hunting in the Mississippi Delta. After three days without success, the president was offered a captive bear to kill, and he refused.

After political cartoonist Clifford Berryman depicted Roosevelt's humane act, plush toy bears became known worldwide as teddy bears.

Mississippi already has several official symbols. The magnolia serves as the state flower and state tree, and the bottle-nosed dolphin is the state water mammal. Petrified wood is the state stone. Milk is the state beverage.

It has no designation for state toy.