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About Alabama


Alabama, one of the Southern States of the United States, is known as the Heart of Dixie. Alabama occupies a central place in the history of the South. The Constitution of the Confederacy was drawn up in Montgomery, the state capital, in 1861. The Alabama Capitol served as the first Confederate Capitol. There, Jefferson Davis took office as president of the Confederacy.

Today, Alabama has a vital part in the nation's future. Huntsville, called Rocket City, U.S.A., is the site of the Redstone Arsenal and the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. Scientists at Huntsville developed many important rockets and space vehicles, including the Saturn 5 rocket system that carried the first astronauts to land on the moon.

Most parts of the South did not become widely industrialized until the 1900's. But heavy industry got a relatively early start in Alabama, mainly because of the state's rich mineral resources. Northern Alabama had all three main raw materials used in making steel—coal, iron ore, and limestone. Blast furnaces for making iron and steel began operating in Birmingham in the 1880's. After that, Birmingham grew rapidly. Today, it is Alabama's largest city, and one of the state's important centers of service industries.

For many years, "King Cotton" ruled Alabama's farm economy. When the cotton crop was poor, or when it sold at low prices, Alabama farmers suffered. But serious crop failures during the early 1900's taught the farmers that they should plant a variety of crops. Then they would not lose all their money if the cotton crop failed. Alabama is still a leading cotton producer. But much livestock and poultry and large crops of corn, peanuts, and soybeans are also raised in the state.

Forest-covered hills and ridges spread over much of northern Alabama. In places where the land has been cleared, bright red clay soils add splashes of color to the landscape. Many dams along rivers and creeks help prevent floods. Hydroelectric power stations at some of the larger dams produce electricity for use in homes and factories.

In the southern part of Alabama, the hills give way to thick pine forests, rolling grasslands, and low croplands. The Mobile Delta area in the southern part of the state has many swamps and bayous (shallow channels filled with slow-moving water). At the southern tip of Alabama, sandy beaches border Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mobile, at the mouth of the Mobile River, is a busy seaport. Oceangoing ships unload a wide variety of goods at the Alabama State Docks in Mobile Bay. The goods include minerals and other raw materials to be made into manufactured goods in Alabama factories. The ships carry away Alabama coal and a wide variety of the state's products, including iron and steel, petroleum products, pulp and other wood products, soybeans, and wheat.

The name Alabama comes from the name of an Indian tribe that once lived in the region. These Indians called themselves the Alibamu, meaning I open (or I clear) the thicket. One of Alabama's nicknames, the Yellowhammer State, originated during the American Civil War (1861-1865). A company of Alabama troops paraded in uniforms trimmed with bits of bright yellow cloth. The soldiers reminded people of the birds called yellowhammers, which have yellow patches under their wings. After that, Alabama soldiers were known as Yellowhammers.


The first electric trolley streetcars in the United States began operating in Montgomery in 1866.
Little River, located on Lookout Mountain in northeastern Alabama, is the only river in the United States that runs its entire course on the top of a mountain. It forms the Little River Canyon. Known as the "Grand Canyon of the South," it is the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River.
A monument to the boll weevil, erected in 1919, stands in the town of Enterprise. After the insect destroyed their cotton crops, Alabama farmers were forced to grow new and more diverse crops. As a result, the farmers became more prosperous. Enterprise then put up the monument "in profound appreciation of the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity ... ."
George Washington Carver gained a reputation as one of the world's greatest agricultural scientists from the research he conducted at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). Among his discoveries were more than 300 new uses for peanuts and more than 100 new uses for sweet potatoes.
The black civil rights movement began at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery in 1955. The church's minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a nonviolent protest group to help carry out a boycott against the Montgomery bus system. This action came after a black passenger was arrested for refusing to yield her seat to a white person.

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Hometown Realty
300 East Street North, Suite C
Talladega, Alabama 35160
Office:  (256) 480-0150
Toll-free: 1-800-251-0818
FAX:  (256) 480-0190
Cell:  (256) 493-6101 (Elaine)
Cell:  (256) 493-0530 (Vic)
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