Skip links

Alabama (AL): State Guide and Fun Facts


Alabama is a state in the southern region of the United States. It is bordered by Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, with a portion bordered by the Gulf of Mexico. In 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state to join the Union.

When did Alabama become a state of the Union? December 14, 1819
Who Founded Alabama? The French
First settlers: Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee Native American Tribes
Square Miles: 52,423
US Rank: 30th
State Flower: Camelia
State Bird: Yellowhammer
State Motto: We Dare Defend Our Rights

Capital City: Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama, was officially designated as a city in 1819. In 1846, it was named the state capital, and 15 years later, it became the first temporary capital of the Confederate States of America (the capital was later relocated to Richmond, Virginia.

Some of the city’s largest current employers include Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama State University, Troy University, Auburn University-Montgomery, and the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant.

What is Alabama famous for?

1. Montgomery Bus Boycott – The yearlong battle between African Americans and Montgomery, Alabama, began on December 1, 1955, when now-famous African American, Rosa Parks, refused to relinquish her seat on the bus to a Caucasian rider. On December 20, 1956, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Parks’ favor and said segregated buses were unconstitutional. This did not mean an end to racism and illegal segregation in the area or the United States, but it marked one small victory on the road to equality between Americans.

2. Helen Keller – Born deaf and blind, Helen Keller’s memory today is an inspiration for the hurdles that the human mind and spirit can overcome in the face of adversity. Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880, to a wealthy family. The girl was unfortunately struck blind and deaf when she was 19 months old after contracting an illness. Her family taught her a series of signs that she could use daily. Still, it was not until the family contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind that Helen was paired with the woman that would become her lifelong teacher, mentor, and friend, Anne Sullivan. Together, the two learned from each other. Helen attended college at Radcliffe and became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

3. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (MLK jailed in Birmingham) – Martin Luther King was born in Georgia, educated in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Shortly after gaining his doctorate, he became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1957, King became the president of the South Christian Leadership Conference. During his time as president, he let a protest in Birmingham, Alabama, which became widely known throughout the nation. As a result, he was arrested and placed in a Birmingham jail. At this time, Martin Luther King composed his well-known “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which he responded to his opposition in an eloquent and well-spoken manner, pleading for unity and civil rights.

What is Alabama’s economy?

1. Agriculture – Alabama is the third-largest producer of young chickens in the United States after Georgia and Arkansas. Other livestock and farm-raised animals include cattle, calves, chicken eggs, hogs, catfish, and dairy products. The state used to be one of the largest producers of cotton. However, crops experienced hardship in the early 20th century, greatly diminishing the industry in Alabama. Current crops include peanuts, corn, soybeans, peaches, apples, nectarines, plums, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, and watermelons.

2. Manufacturing – Alabama is a leading producer of cloth made from cotton, paper products, iron, steel, autos, engines, military equipment, food products, clothing, computer equipment, rubber, plastic products, wood products, textiles, and machinery.

3. Services – The service industry in Alabama is one of the state’s largest revenue generators. Main income-making services include businesses, health care, law firms, engineering companies, grocery stores, auto dealerships, public schools, finance, insurance, and real estate.

 

Alabama Historical Landmarks

1. Dexter Avenue Baptist Church – Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the post-doctorate church where Martin Luther King first began his career as a pastor. Before King Vernon, Johns was the church’s pastor; he was a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Under the leadership of Dr. King, the location was the site of the organization of the infamous Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.

2. Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand – The enormous tower is part of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama. The structure was built to house the Saturn V rocket in its entirety. While inside, they conducted mechanical tests and experimented with the vibration of the rocket. Ultimately, this tower was responsible for discovering a handful of errors in the rocket’s design that would have caused it to fail if used in space flight.

3. Old City Hall (Mobile, AL) – Mobile’s Old City Hall was built between 1855 and 1857 and was originally designated as the city hall and a marketplace for vegetables, meat, and fish. The building was originally designed by Thomas Simmons James but was added onto by William L. Denham in 1910. This addition was in response to the need for an additional council chamber. In 1930, the Old City Hall was again added onto by architect Frederick W. Clarke. Since 1997, the former government seat was turned into the Museum of Mobile, Alabama.

4. Rickwood Field – Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Rickwood Field is American’s oldest professional baseball field. The park was originally built in 1910 for the Birmingham Barons and the Birmingham Black Barons (the African American team). During the 20th century, the field was host to AA teams such as the Birmingham Athletics, the Detroit Tigers’ AA team, and the Chicago White Sox AA team. Currently, the ballpark is under restoration by the Friends of Rickwood association. Although they are no longer home to any professional or semi-professional teams, the ballpark still hosts amateur and semi-professional games occasionally.