Alabama was the 22nd state in the USA; it became a state on December 14, 1819.
State Abbreviation – AL
State Capital – Montgomery
Largest City – Birmingham
Area – 52,423 square miles [Alabama is the 30th biggest state in the USA]
Population – 4,833,722 (as of 2013) [Alabama is the 23rd most populous state in the USA]
Name for Residents – Alabamans
Major Industries – agriculture (cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans, poultry, and livestock), hydroelectric power, mining (coal, limestone, iron ore), steel-making
Major Rivers – Tombigbee River, Alabama River, Tennessee River, Chattahoochee River
Major Lakes -Guntersville Lake, Wilson Lake, Martin Lake, West Point Lake, Lewis Smith Lake
Highest Point – Cheaha Mountain – 2407 feet, (734 m) above sea level
Number of Counties – 67
Bordering States – Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee
Bordering Body of Water – Gulf of Mexico
Origin of the Name Alabama – Alabama means “tribal town” in the language of the local Creek Indians
State Nickname – Heart of Dixie, “Yellowhammer State”
State Motto – “Audemus jura nostra defendere” – We Dare Defend Our Rights
State Song – Alabama
- In 1919, the city of Enterprise erected a monument to the boll weevil in recognition of the destructive insect’s role in saving the county’s economy by encouraging farmers to grow more lucrative crops such as peanuts instead of traditional cotton.
- The DeSoto Caverns near the city of Birmingham, which contain a 2,000-year-old Native American burial site, served as a clandestine speakeasy with dancing and gambling during Prohibition.
- Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1836.
- The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American flying unit in the U.S. military, were trained in Alabama. Their accomplished combat record, including the accumulation of more than 850 medals, was an important factor in President Truman’s decision to desegregate armed forces in 1948.
- In 1965, five months before President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act prohibiting discriminatory voting practices, thousands of non-violent protesters joined a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery to bring attention to the injustice African Americans faced when attempting to register to vote.
- The Saturn V rocket that made it possible for humans to land on the moon was designed in Huntsville, Alabama.