Alabama is a state in the South East USA, having the state of Tennessee to it’s north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south and Mississippi to the west. It also has a short coastline on the Gulf Of Mexico around the city of Mobile, which is just west of nearby Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.
The state of Alabama has a rich history, and for those who have never been there, it’s a far cry from what you might have imagined, and certainly not full of backwater towns and old cotton plantations.
Historic Facts About Alabama
The name Alabama came from an Indian tribe who lived in this area when the first European settlers arrived. One of the main rivers that was used by the settlers, in what is now the center of the state, was named for the tribe, and eventually the state also adopted the name.
Although much of the fighting during the American Civil War took place further to the east, the state capital of Alabama, Montgomery, was also the capital of the Confederate States Of America, and Montgomery is therefore also known as the “Cradle Of The Confederacy”.
Alabama is sometimes known as the “Yellowhammer State”, and it is thought that this is because during the Civil War, Confederate troops from Alabama would wear yellow trim on their uniforms. The Yellowhammer is a bird that has yellow patches under it’s wings.
The large cotton plantations that were common in the southern part of Alabama have now all gone, and although cotton is still an important crop in the state, it is no longer the primary source of revenue. Corn, Soybeans, Peanuts and Melons are some of the main crops, as well as the raising of livestock.
The northern part of Alabama has areas of hills and ridges, which are covered in dense pine forests. It is a sharp contrast to the croplands of the south.
Alabama State Symbols
The state bird of Alabama is the Yellowhammer, as you might have already guessed.
Alabama is also known as the “Heart Of Dixie”.
The state tree is the Longleaf Pine.
The state flower is the Camellia.
The capital of Alabama is Montgomery.
The city in Alabama with the largest population is Birmingham.
The Alabama city that has the largest land area is Huntsville.
The oldest city in Alabama is Mobile, and it was founded by French colonists.
Industries In Alabama
The Space industry has a home in Huntsville Alabama, with it being the base for Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the United States Space And Rocket Center. Huntsville is affectionately known as “Rocket City USA”.
Although Detroit in Michigan is home to much of the domestic automotive industry in the USA, Alabama has the headquarters of a number of international motor companies, including Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.
A number of Telecommunications and Financial companies also have a significant presence in Alabama, including AT&T.
Although Mobile is the only port city in Alabama, it is the 9th largest in the USA by tonnage.
Famous People From Alabama
Famous Alabama residents include: Martins Luther Kind Jr, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, and Helen Keller.
Truman Capote was born in Alabama, as was actress Tallulah Bankhead, and American Idol contestants Bo Bice, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks.
Famous singers born in Alabama include Nat King Cole, Bobby Goldsboro, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffet, country singer Shelby Lynne, Wilson Pickett, Lionel Richie, Percy Sledge, Tammy Wynette and country music legend Hank Williams.
The list of famous people associated with the state of Alabama is endless, far too long to list, but you can see if HERE.
Major Universities In Alabama
Troy University is the largest, with four campuses in Troy, Dothan, Montgomery, and Phenix City.
The University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has the largest campus, with another campus in Birmingham.
Auburn University is another of the largest in the state, and is arch rivals with the University Of Alabama.
In all, there are more than 58 colleges and universities in the state of Alabama.
Places To See In Alabama
DeSoto Caverns Park, which is Southeast of Birmingham, has guided tours through the state’s biggest cave which is 12 stories high and larger than a football field.
Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile is home to the battleship USS Alabama, the submarine USS Drum, as well as many tanks and aircraft.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame Museum is next door to the Talladega Superspeedway.
The US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville has the largest collection of space memorabilia and rockets in the USA, including the Pathfinder shuttle simulator and a Saturn V moon rocket.
The museum at Moundville Archaeological Park combines the latest technology with more than 200 stunning artifacts to describe one of the most significant Native American archaeological sites in the United States. Lost Realm of the Black Warrior, the new exhibit, relates the rich existence of an ancient people who once populated the site.
Russell Cave National Monument is an archaeological treasure, containing evidence as to how prehistoric people lived in the Southeast for almost 10,000 years.
As you can see, there is a lot more to Alabama than you might expect, and far far more than covered in this article.
Next time you are vacationing in the Deep South, think about spending some time in this fascinating part of the USA.
USA States – Alabama
10 Great Places To Visit In Alabama