State Toy and Beverage


Drawing depicting the story of President Roosevelt refusing to shoot a chained bear in Mississippi, which led to stuffed toy bears being named "Teddy Bears".

This political cartoon ran in the Washington Post in 1902 and is now in the Public Domain.


Designated as State Toy in 2002.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt visited Mississippi to hunt black bear.  Others in the hunting party had shot bears and as the hunt was coming to a close, President Roosevelt’s hunting guides were worried that the he would leave empty handed.  To avoid the embarrassment of a failed hunt, they tracked a small bear, which was injured by dogs during the pursuit.  The guides chained the injured bear to a tree so that the President could shoot it, but when he was led to the bear Roosevelt refused to shoot it, saying the scenario was unsportsmanlike.  He did, however, order someone else to put the wounded bear out of its misery. The story piqued the interest of cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman who created the drawing entitled “Drawing a Line in Mississippi,” published in the Washington Post November 16th, 1902.  “Little Bruin” as the cartoon bear came to be known, was a recurrent character in subsequent political cartoons, and the story became the inspiration for “Teddy’s Bear”, which later came to be known as the teddy bear.  


This plastic chocolate milk bottle from 2017 represents the State Beverage, milk!

Dunn-Seiler Museum (Donated by MAFES)


Designated as State Beverage in 1984.

Mississippi was once home to a booming dairy industry, including the Borden Milk Plant which was right here in Starkville, Mississippi.  Mississippi State University still produces milk, cheese, and ice cream which can be purchased at the MAFES retail store on Stone Boulevard. 

State Toy and Beverage