WELCOME MR. PRESIDENT: Did Teddy Bear come about from one of President Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Vicksburg?

Published 11:41 am Monday, May 16, 2016

President Theodore Roosevelt made two trips to the Vicksburg area in the early and mid-1900s.

In 1902, Roosevelt, still in his first term as president, came to the area for a hunting trip at the invitation of Mississippi Gov. Andrew H. Longino and with the intent of bagging a bear. During the trip, hunting guides found an old, injured black bear and tied it to a tree for Roosevelt to shoot. The president refused to shoot the injured bear as it would have been unsportsmanlike, leading to the story and later popularity of the Teddy Bear.

In October 1907, Roosevelt made another trip to Vicksburg, this time stumping for re-election, and spoke at what was then the Warren County Courthouse, which is now The Old Warren County Court House Museum.

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About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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