Alabama is America’s 22nd state, admitted to the Union in 1819. Historically, the economy was dominated by cotton and other agricultural industries; however, after World War II, a number of manufacturing and service jobs gained a foothold. For several decades after World War II, racial tensions were high until the passing of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in the mid-1960s.
Montgomery, Alabama was the location of Rosa Park’s famous bus ride, which sparked a number of civil rights protests. Today, Alabama is far more progressive, with numerous political and social organizations working towards moving on from the racial injustices of decades past.
The geography of Alabama is diverse, with the areas near the Gulf of Mexico at or near sea level, and areas near the Appalachian mountain range reaching heights of nearly 1800 feet. The highest point in the state is Mount Cheaha, which has an elevation of just over 2400 feet.
Moving from the mountains to the city, Alabama has four major metropolitan areas: Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.
Now that you’re moving to Alabama, there are a couple facts you’ll want to keep in mind:
- The word “Alabama” comes from the name of a native tribe. One translation of the word is “herb gatherers”, another is “the ones who make a clearing”.
- Alabama spans 52,423 square miles, and is home to over 4.6 million people, according to 2008 data.
- The oldest city in Alabama is Mobile, which was founded by the French in 1702.
- Famous Alabamans include actors Channing Tatum and Tallulah Bankhead, Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, as well as author Harper Lee.
- The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was inaugurated in Montgomery in 1861.
- The Wetumpka Crater, located near Montgomery, is a 1,000 foot wide crater formed by a meteorite impact about 80 million years ago.
Once you’ve moved to Alabama you’ll be looking for some interesting things to do. Here’s a list of several things you can do to keep your happily occupied.
- If you are someone who loves the outdoors or educational excursions, Alabama’s numerous national parks are sure to please. Some of the better known parks include the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.
- If you are passionate about peanuts, take a trip to Dothan’s National Peanut Festival, held every fall.
- Shakespeare devotees will be attracted to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival held in Montgomery. This renowned company puts on classical dramas such as Romeo and Juliet and King Lear.