8-year-old spurs state fossil law in South Carolina

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8-Year-Old Spurs State Fossil Law in South Carolina

South Carolina now has an official state fossil.

Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Tuesday that makes the Columbian Mammoth the state fossil.
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8-year-old spurs state fossil law in South Carolina
BOSTON - OCTOBER 2: David Mendez, traveling exhibits production supervisor does some touch ups on a Columbian mammoth, lived 1.6 million to 10,000 years ago, in an exhibit of Ice Age mammals at the Museum of Science, Boston. The Columbian mammoth, a cousin of the woolly mammoth, was one of the largest proboscideans ever to live. Some male Columbian mammoths stood 13 to 14 feet tall at the shoulder. The exhibit opens this Sunday, October 7 and runs through Sunday, January 13, 2013. (Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A mammoth standing among stones on a hillside.
US Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, arrive for a news conference at the Republican Governors Association's quarterly meeting on Wednesday May 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley applauds members of the gallery as she delivers her State of the State address to the joint session of the legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
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The idea came from eight-year-old Olivia McConnell, who wrote a letter to Haley explaining why South Carolina needed a state fossil. She pointed out South Carolina was one of only seven states that didn't have one.

According to a press release, "[Olivia] suggested that the state's fossil should be the Columbian Mammoth, after her research revealed that mammoth teeth were first found in South Carolina in 1725."

State symbol legislation is reportedly often proposed by students working on class projects, so this one seemed easy enough to pass. Unfortunately, it wasn't, because, well, politics.

WLTX reports, its first roadblock came from a state senator, who said the state already had too many symbols.

That argument was dropped, but Senator Kevin Bryant decided to offer an amendment to the bill, saying the mammoth was created on the sixth day of creation.

He told WLTX, "I felt like it's a great creature and it would be a good time to acknowledge the Creator."

Although that passed the Senate, the House rejected the amendment. The bill then moved forward without it.

​Olivia was there, next to Haley, when the bill was signed into law. She spoke at the event. "The fossil bill, it had a very good purpose. And I didn't want the history to be lost, and I had to do something about it."



The Sumter Item writes, "Olivia had the type of moment most political operatives can only dream of, drawing more media attention than many state legislators could ever hope to imagine."

The third grader is reportedly working on a children's book based on her experience, according to The Item.

We're guessing it'll be more about fossils and less about legislative roadblocks.
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