84 Fun & Interesting Facts about Alabama

Are you ready to discover a state filled with rich history, amazing sports, and beautiful landscapes? Let’s take a trip to Alabama, a place in the southern part of the United States that has a story to tell at every corner. From its important role in American history to its love for college football, Alabama is a state with lots of interesting facts to explore. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into these facts about Alabama!

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First up, did you know that Alabama is known as the “Heart of Dixie”? This nickname reflects its central location in the southern United States. Alabama has a rich history, especially when it comes to important events in American civil rights. It was in cities like Montgomery and Birmingham where significant moments of the Civil Rights Movement took place, changing the course of history.

Alabama is also famous for its love of college football, with teams like the University of Alabama and Auburn University at the heart of the state’s sports culture. Football here isn’t just a game; it’s a way of life! Every weekend in the fall, people gather in stadiums or around TVs to cheer for their favorite teams. The excitement and team spirit make it a fun time for everyone.

And there’s more to Alabama than just history and football. It’s also home to beautiful natural sights. Did you know that Alabama has one of the largest waterway systems in the country? The state is filled with rivers, lakes, and a small part of the Gulf of Mexico coastline. These beautiful waters are perfect for fishing, boating, and just enjoying a sunny day by the shore.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Alabama? From its pivotal role in history to its passionate football fans and beautiful natural scenes, Alabama is full of surprises and fun facts. Let’s keep exploring and find out all the amazing things that make Alabama a special place to visit and learn about!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about Missouri and our Facts about Mississippi. 

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Facts about Alabama

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. began his career as a local pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery
  2. The city of Birmingham was once called the “Pittsburgh of the South” thanks to its booming steel industry during the early 20th century.
  3. In 1861, Montgomery, Alabama, served as the capital of the Confederate States of America before it was moved to Richmond, Virginia.
  4. Alabama is home to the United States’ largest snail population. Believe it or not, 43% of all snails in the United States live in Alabama.
  5. Alabama has a rich history of Native American cultures, with over 40 different tribes inhabiting the region at various times in history. These tribes include the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole.
  6. Alabama is the most religious state in the US.  According to their data, 86% of the state’s residents are Christian, with 49% of those being Evangelical Protestants. Only 51% of people from Alabama attend church on a weekly basis, yet 73% pray on at least a daily basis.
  7. Prominent Alabama physician Luther Hill, Jr. (1862–1946) is regarded as the first American physician to perform a successful surgical repair on a wounded heart. He stitched up a 13-year-old cardiac stab-wound victim.
  8. In 2004, Alabama recognized Conecuh Ridge Whisky as the official beverage of Alabama, making it the only state with an alcoholic beverage as the state drink. Most other states have soda, juice, or milk.
  9. Alabama is the second leading catfish-producing state in the U.S., surpassed only by Mississippi.
  10. The arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery became a key event in the civil rights movement. She is called “the mother of the civil rights movement”.
  11. Helen Keller, born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, was the first deaf and blind person to earn a college degree.
  12. Saturn V, the rocket used by NASA to send people to the moon, was developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
  13. The world’s first open-heart surgery was performed by Luther Leonidas Hill Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1902.
  14. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, fought in 1814 during the Creek War, was a decisive victory for American forces under General Andrew Jackson, leading to the cession of millions of acres of Creek land.
  15. Magnolia Springs is the only city in the United States where the mail is delivered completely by boat.
  16. In 1836, Alabama became the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.
  17. The southern Longleaf Pine tree is scientifically known as Pinus Palustris; it is the official state tree of Alabama. 
  18. Alabama’s state constitution has over 300,000 words and over 775 amendments. That makes it the longest state constitution and the most amended state constitution in the world!
  19. The nickname the “Yellowhammer State” originates from the fact that the Confederate troops placed yellow trimmings on their uniform during the Civil War. Yellowhammers are birds with yellow patches under their wings.
  20.  Mary Anderson, born in Greene County, Alabama, is credited with the invention of windshield wipers. She was granted a patent for her invention in 1903. In 1922, Cadillac became the first car manufacturer to adopt them as standard equipment.
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  1. The spiral staircase in the Alabama State Capitol was built by Horace King, who was an architect, engineer, and bridge builder. He was born in slavery in South Carolina in 1807.
  2. In 1901, Booker T. Washington delivered his now-famous speech called “Atlanta Compromise” at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, outlining his vision for race relations and economic progress.
  3. It was also the first state in the nation to celebrate Veteran’s Day, with the first Veteran’s Day Parade taking place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1947.
  4. Alabama is the home of the longest NASCAR oval in the USA. The Talladega Superspeedway, previously known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway, has a NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 miles (4.28 km).
  5. The first Europeans to discover Alabama were the Spanish. Hernando de Soto led a group of gold seekers across Alabama in the 16th century. 
  6. Alabama is the only state where all three ingredients needed to make iron and steel can be found in close proximity to each other. Alabama is the only state that has the ability to produce iron and steel with its own natural resources.
  7. Eunice Merrill (1919-2004) was known for her biscuits and home-style cooking at Aunt Eunice’s Country Kitchen in Huntsville. When Fob James was governor, the Alabama Legislature passed a resolution naming her biscuits as the Official Biscuit of Alabama.
  8. Alabama is the only state to erect a monument to an insect, the boll weevil. The unassuming bug ate many of Alabama’s early cotton yields, forcing the state to find a greater variety of crops to plant.
  9. Alabama has unique nicknames for its cities. Many cities across the state of Alabama have formally recognized nickname usage. Cities in Alabama have several nicknames, such as “The Magic City” for Birmingham, “The Rocket City” for Huntsville, and “The Azalea City” for Mobile.
  10. Brundidge, Ala., celebrates its role in the peanut butter industry with a Peanut Butter Festival each October. One of the first commercial peanut butter mills was located in the Pike County town and produced 2 million jars at its peak.
  11. The first 911 call in the United States was made in Alabama. On February 16, 1968, in Haleyville Alabama, Speaker of the House Rankin Fite called U.S. Representative Tom Bevill at the local police station.
  12. The first civil aviation school in the United States was opened in Alabama. Orville and Wilbur Wright, more commonly known as the Wright Brothers, opened the very first US civil aviation school outside of Montgomery, Alabama.
  13. Alabama’s first permanent state capital is now a ghost town.
  14. The Apollo 11 rocket was made in Alabama in which astronauts Mr.Neil Armstrong and Mr.Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon.
  15. In Alabama, around 400 million pounds of peanuts are farmed every year, with most of them grown within just a 100-mile radius of Dothan. With 900+ farms, Alabama is the 2nd largest producer of peanuts in the United States.
  16. The Battle of Mobile Bay, fought during the American Civil War in 1864, was notable for Admiral David Farragut’s famous order, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
  17. The first African American bank in the United States, the Penny Savings Bank, was founded in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1890.
  18. Alabama is home to the oldest baseball stadium in the United States still in use: Rickwood Field in Birmingham. It opened in 1910 and has hosted many baseball legends over the years.
  19. Alabama’s Gulf Coast is known as the “Red Snapper Capital of the World” due to the abundance of red snapper fish in its waters.
  20. Alabama’s official nut is the pecan.
  21. Alabama is very biodiverse.
  22. Grassland once occupied most of what is now Alabama. It’s easy to imagine how drastically different Alabama must have seemed to the first European settlers. 
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  1. Montgomery native Nat King Cole was the first black man to host a TV variety show. The Nat King Cole Show debuted on NBC-TV in 1956.
  2. In 2015, 10 Civil War cannonballs were discovered buried under sidewalks at the University of Alabama.
  3. Alabama is home to the tree that owns itself.
  4. In 1861, the Confederate flag was developed and flown for the first time in Alabama.
  5. In 1865, Union troops led by General James H. Wilson captured the city of Selma, a key Confederate stronghold, which marked a turning point in the Civil War.
  6. The Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, founded in 1867, is the oldest private historically black college in Alabama.
  7. Alabama is the 10th largest producer of cotton in the United States.
  8. Mercedes Benz established its first U.S. factory in Vance, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was also the first-ever automobile factory in the state. The plant started producing cars in January 1997.
  9. In 1886, Montgomery introduced the world’s first electric trolley system.
  10. Alabama’s lowest mean elevation point is 500 feet above sea level.
  11. Alabama became the fourth state to officially secede from the Union in January 1861.
  12. The Saturn V rocket that put Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969 was built in Alabama and is now a state landmark.
  13. The first Europeans to find Alabama were Spaniards, but it was settled by the French.
  14. Alabama is home to a wealth of animal species. The state’s rivers and streams are filled with fish, including bass, catfish, and trout, while its forests are home to several species of birds, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
  15. Alabama Is Home To The Largest Collection of African-American Art
  16. The town of Guntersville, Alabama, is known as the “Cradle of Bass Fishing” and hosts numerous fishing tournaments, including the Bassmaster Classic.
  17. The first-ever submarine to sink an enemy ship was constructed by Confederates in Alabama. It was designed by James McClintlock, the submarine H.L. Hunley’s construction was finished in 1863.
  18. Alabama does not have an officially recognized nickname. Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer state after the state bird, the Heart of Dixie, and the Cotton State, but it has not designated an official nickname. 
  19. Pat Garret, the man who killed Billy the Kid, was born near Cusseta, Ala., on June 5, 1850. He was sheriff of Lincoln County, N.M. when he shot and killed the notorious outlaw on July 14, 1881. Garrett himself was murdered on Feb. 29, 1908. He is buried in Las Cruces, N.M.
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  1. Montgomery, Alabama, was the capital of the Confederate States of America.
  2. Washington County is Alabama’s oldest county.
  3. The Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks makes a memorial center for leaders who died during the 1954-68 civil rights war. 
  4. In 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by members of the Ku Klux Klan, resulting in the deaths of four young African American girls.
  5. Alabama Was Tourist Destination To More Than 28 Million People In 2021
  6. In the Creek Indian language, the name Alabama means “tribal town“.
  7. The Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, founded in 1842, is the oldest military junior college in the United States.
  8. The Alabama state motto is “Audemus jura nostra defendere,” which means “We dare defend our rights” in Latin.
  9. The town of Monroeville, Alabama, served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Maycomb in Harper Lee’s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
  10. The Song “Sweet Home Alabama” was released in 1974 by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it became a hit by making record number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  11. The world’s largest cast-iron skillet is located in the town of Fort Payne, Alabama. It measures 14 feet in diameter and weighs approximately 8 tons.
  12. Alabama was not only a major player in the Civil War, but it was also where it all began. Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker transmitted the telegraph from Montgomery that sparked the Civil War.
  13. Alabama is home to the largest cast-iron statue in the world.
  14. Alabama is commonly referred to as “The Yellowhammer State.”
  15. Alabama is home to the country’s largest unclaimed baggage center, which is aptly named the “Unclaimed Baggage Center.” Some of the most unique items there are a container of someone’s ashes, a six-foot-tall paper mache of Tinker Bell, suits of armor, and a 5.8-carat diamond solitaire ring.
  16. Alabama is home to the only bookstore in the world that only sells signed copies.
  17. The first rocket to put humans on the moon was built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
  18. The first African American student to enroll at the University of Alabama was Autherine Lucy Foster in 1956, following a legal battle to desegregate the university.
  19. Marie Bader, a 26-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, holds the world record for the fastest 10-kilometer run on sand. She completed the remarkable run in 55 minutes and 1 second.
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  1. It is illegal in Alabama to sell, purchase, possess, or train a bear for bear wrestling. Bear wrestling matches used to be a pretty big deal in Alabama.
  2. The Battle of Fort Mims fought in 1813 during the Creek War, was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the conflict.
  3. Montgomery became the first U.S. city to initiate an electric streetcar system for transportation, The Capital City Street Railway, also known as the Lightning Route.
  4. The name Alabama came from combining the two Choctaw Indian words Alba and Amo.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Alabama? Share them with us in the comments! 

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