49 Interesting Facts About Alabama - The Fact File (2023)

Last updated on September 23rd, 2022

Alabamais the 24th most populousand the 30th most extensiveof the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the southeastern region of the United States. The state attainedstatehood on December 14, 1819, becoming the 22nd state to join the union. It shares its border with four states(Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi.)See the full list of the 50 states and their borders here. Alabama (nicknames: the “Yellowhammer State”, the “Cotton State”, the “Heart of Dixie”) has 67counties.The state’scapital is Montgomery. The postal abbreviation for Alabama is AL. With these Alabama facts, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, economy and more.

Facts about Alabama

1. The state was named after the Alabama River. The origin of the word Alabama is considered to be from two words “Alba and Amo”. Alba refers to vegetables, herbs; and plants while Amo refers to gatherer or picker. The combinationof these words “vegetation pickers” describes the Alabama Indians who were the early settlers in the region.[1]

2. Founded by the French colonists in 1702, Mobile is the oldest city in the state.[2]

3. Did you know that the Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Alabama? This happened in 1540. But it was the French who settled first.

Alabama on map

4. On January 11, 1961, Alabama seceded from the Union. The delegates from six states met at Montgomery and formed the Confederate States of America. Montgomery was chosen as the capital. Because of this, Montgomery is known as the “Cradle of the Confederacy.” The Confederate flag was designed and first flown in AL in 1861.[6,7,15]

5. Did you know that Helen Keller, born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, was the first deaf and blind person to earn a college degree? Directed by Arthur Penn, a film “The Miracle Worker” was also produced in 1962 depicting the story of the remarkable tutor Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.[32]

6. 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 “themotherof thecivil rights movement“.[13]

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7. On 15 April 1886, Montgomery, Ala. became the first U.S. city to initiate an electric streetcar system for transportation, TheCapital City Street Railway, also known as theLightning Route. The system was however retired exactly after 50 years on April 15, 1936, and was replaced by buses.[5]

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8. Did you know that 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? The first Saturn V was launched in 1967. The rocket was about the height of a 36 story-tall building and weighed about the weight of about 400 elephants.[3]

Flag of Alabama

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9. Interestingly, due to the presence of a rocket building facility in Huntsville, it (Huntsville) earned the name “Rocket City U.S.A.”[4]

10.Mary Anderson, born inGreene County, Alabama, is credited with the invention of windshield wipers. She was granted the patent for her invention in 1903.In 1922,Cadillacbecame the first car manufacturer to adopt them as standard equipment.[27]

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11. Explorer 1 was the first successful U.S. satellite. It was launched on Jupiter C rocket, which was built at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, AL. The satellite was launched on January 31, 1958, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite orbited Earth every 114.8 minutes, making 12.54 orbits each day.[8,9]

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12. Did you know that Mobile, Alabama is the birthplace of America’s original Mardi Gras? The parade originated in 1703 in port city.[10]

13. The Vulcan statue, the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama, is the largest cast iron statue in the world. The 56-foot tall statue (from toe to spear point) depicting the Roman god Vulcan is the world’s largest iron-ore statue. It weighs 101,200 pounds. The statue was designed by the Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti.[11]

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14. The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, honors those killed in the struggle for racial equality. The memorial also has a timeline of key events and the names of the 40 victims etched in black granite. The memorial was designed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin. It is located on an open plaza accessible to visitors 24 hours a day, every day of the week.[12]

15. Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American women to serve as U.S. secretary of state was born in Birmingham. Note that Birmingham is also the state’s largest city.[14]

16. 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 the birds with yellow patches under their wings.[15]

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17. Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. began his career as a local pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery?[17]

18. The Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965 guaranteed the right to vote to all African Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. participated in the march. He had recently won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, which helped him draw attention to the difficulties faced by black voters, and the need for a national Voting Rights Act.[34]

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19. “Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a might steam.” – These are his words that are inscribed on Montogomery’s Civil Rights Memorial.[35]

20.Did you know that on the night of November 12, 1833, a spectacular occurrence of the Leonid meteor shower had been observed in Alabama? The shower was so intense that many people thought that the world is coming to an end.The “night the stars fell” is mentioned in several stories about Ray County.[24]

21. Did you know that 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.[16]

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22. In 1910, Wright brothers opened the first-ever in the U.S. civil aviation school on an old cotton plantation on the outskirts of Montgomery, Montgomery County. However, the flight school did not remain operational for a long time due to some problems.[28]

23. Carl Lewis, the famous track-and-field athlete,who won nineOlympicgold medals during the 1980s and ’90s, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He also wonone Olympicsilver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, includingeight gold.[18]

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24. During the first half of the 19th century, cotton and slave labor played a central role in the state’s economy.

25. According to PEW research, Alabama is the most religious states in the US, followed by Mississippi (2nd), Tenessee (3rd), Louisiana (4th), and Arkansas (5th).[19]

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26. In 2021, a record 28.2 million tourists visited Alabama spending an all-time high of $19.6 billion.[20]

27. Talladega Superspeedway, formerly namedAlabama International Motor Speedway(AIMS), is amotorsportscomplex located north ofTalladega, Alabama. It is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66 mile (4.281 km).[21]

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28.On December 14, 2019, Alabama celebrates its Bicentennial year (marks the completion of 200 years of its statehood).[22]

29. Jesse Owens is an Olympic gold medalist who was born in Oakville, Alabama. He was the son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.[30]

30. Did you know that in 1836 Alabama was the first U.S. state to declare Christmas a holiday and Oklahoma in 1907 was the last to do so?[23]

31. In terms of alcohol consumption, Alabama is one of the driest states in the U.S.[25]

32. The last constitution adopted by Alabama in 1901, is thelongest of all the state constitutions. the document has more than 376,000 words. Vermont has the shortest constitution (8,565 words) among the 50 states.[26]

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33. Alabama is the second leading catfish producing state in the U.S., surpassed only by Mississippi.[29]

34. 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. [33]

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35. Did you know that 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.[31]

36. Alabama’s Central Estuary: Mobile Bay serves as a historical area where fresh water from rivers mixes with marine waters that are brought by tides. Fresh water from the streams flows directly into the ocean hence mixing with salty water. There are incredible sights for history buffs, fishers, and strollers such as pelicans and freighters floating on waters.

37. Home of Martyrs: the Montgomery Civil Rights Landmarks make a memorial center for leaders who died during the 1954-68 civil rights war. There is a Wall of Tolerance whereby guests pledge to fight against hate and uphold tolerance.

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38. The Biggest Fishing Pier in Gulf Coast: Gulf State Park offers a scenic spot for tourists who love fishing and eating fish. Stop by and rent or buy fishing equipment, baits, and licenses. The pier provides amazing experiences for any level catering to beginners and seasoned anglers. Depending on the season, you can catch various species including Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, sheepshead, flounder, cobia, red drum, etc.

39. The W.C. Handy Home and Museum: W.C Handy was born in 1873 in Florence in this cabin that houses today a massive collection of artifacts, memorials, and papers. Hailed as the father of blues, William Christopher Handy composed such lovely songs as “Beale Street Blues” and “St. Louis Blues.” A complete collection of his work including music, trumpet, and artifacts, is stored at the W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library.

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40. Peanut Capital of the World: the biggest peanut festival in the United States takes place in Dothan, Ala. every fall. The city is actually hailed as the World’s Peanut Capital. The event pays homage to the agricultural heritage of Wiregrass area using whimsical sculptures around the town. People in this area demonstrate their love for peanut through a nutty artistic project that revolves around little goobers. The project comprises over 70 statues, peanut-themed and crafted by local artists. There is a popular statue names ‘The Peanut Man’ that pays tribute to Byron, a peanut peddler who used to sell boiled peanuts on the Main Street from a stand.

41. Unclaimed Baggage Center, Scottsboro: this is where the lost checked bags can be found. These include misplaced and mishandled cargos. The airlines have tremendously improved their services when it comes to the loss of luggage and handling of checked bags including electronic devices, clothes, and diamond rings. The misplaced items are returned to their owners within 2 days. Only a very small percentage remains unclaimed.

42. Largest Collection Of African-American Art: the University of Alabama received art worth 4.8 million dollars from Paul R. Jones as donations in 2008. The collection included over 1,700 pieces among them being the most sought-after African-American artworks. Jones brought the art after noticing the absence of fine art by African-American artists in the galleries, museums, and auctions.

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What are 4 Interesting facts about Alabama? ›

5 Interesting Facts About Alabama
  • Windshield Wipers Were Invented In Alabama.
  • Alabama Has The Most Snails Of Any US State - By Far.
  • Alabama Was The First State To Recognize Christmas As An Official Holiday.
  • The First 911 Call Was Made In Alabama.
  • Alabama Had A Bear Wrestling Problem In The 1990s.
Sep 19, 2022

What are 3 historical facts about Alabama? ›

Alabama was established as a separate territory in 1817 and became a state in 1819. By 1820 Alabama's population was more than 125,000, including about 500 free Blacks. By 1830 there were 300,000 residents, nearly one-fifth of them enslaved, and cotton was the principal cash crop.

What is Alabama best known for? ›

What Is Alabama Known For? Alabama is known for its Southern hospitality, its history of civil rights struggles, and as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. It is also a large producer of two commodities in the United States and is a significant home to space discovery.

Is Alabama poor or rich? ›

These states and territories have the highest percentages of poverty in the country: Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.

What is different about Alabama? ›

The state's geography is diverse, with the north dominated by the mountainous Tennessee Valley and the south by Mobile Bay, a historically significant port. Politically, as part of the Deep South, Alabama is predominantly a conservative state, and is known for its Southern culture.

What is Alabama known as? ›

Nickname: Alabama does not have an official nickname, but is often referred to as the "Heart of Dixie." It has also been called the "Cotton State" and the "Yellowhammer State."

What are three facts about Birmingham? ›

Here are a few: With a metropolitan population of nearly a million people, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. No need to pigeonhole Birmingham as serving only fried pies and barbecue. The city is home to “the Oscars of dining,” with James Beard Foundation award winners and nominees.

When did slavery end in Alabama? ›

During the Civil War, enslaved people in the South were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 abolished slavery for the whole country.

Who first lived in Alabama? ›

The land that is today the state of Alabama was originally settled by two groups of Native Americans: the Cherokee and the Muskogee peoples. The Muskogee peoples included the Choctaw, the Creek, and the Chickasaw tribes. They were organized into clans such as the Bear Clan and the Fox Clan.

How did Alabama gets its name? ›

ALABAMA: From an Indian tribe of the Creek Confederacy originally called the Alabamas or Alibamons, who in turn gave the name to a river from which the State name was derived.

Whats most popular in Alabama? ›

Top Attractions in Alabama
  1. USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park. 3,951. Military Museums • Ships. ...
  2. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. 1,282. ...
  3. Gulf State Park. 1,413. ...
  4. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. 1,291. ...
  5. Vulcan Park and Museum. 1,392. ...
  6. McWane Science Center. 956. ...
  7. Legacy Museum. 444. ...
  8. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. 1,648.

What is Alabama famous food? ›

Alabama is known for its barbecue, like many southern states, and even has it's own unique White BBQ Sauce. But it's also well-known for many other southern and soul food favorites like Fried Green Tomatoes, Classic Southern Smothered Pork Chops, Collard Greens, Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, and Tomato Pie.

Is Alabama the best place to live? ›

Known to be a state with rich history, culture, natural beauty, and southern hospitality, Alabama is a great place to live for many various reasons. If you want somewhere with low income and property taxes, low cost of living, and beautiful weather, then Alabama may be a good place for you to live and raise a family.

What state is the poorest? ›

Poverty rates were highest in the states of Mississippi (19.58%), Louisiana (18.65%), New Mexico (18.55%), West Virginia (17.10%), Kentucky (16.61%), and Arkansas (16.08%), and they were lowest in the states of New Hampshire (7.42%), Maryland (9.02%), Utah (9.13%), Hawaii (9.26%), and Minnesota (9.33%).

Is Alabama nice to live? ›

Alabama's median age is around 38, making it a state of Millenials and one of the best states for young families. In addition to this being a great place to raise a family, you will also experience vibrant communities, natural beauty, sports, and activities! Alabama has a lot to offer, whether for families or work!

Is Alabama cheap to live? ›

The cost of living in Alabama is 12% lower than the national average. Housing is 30% lower than the national average, while utilities are 1% higher. When it comes to basic necessities such as food and clothing, groceries are around 5% lower than in the rest of the country, while clothing costs 5% lower.

Can you marry your cousin in Alabama? ›

Alabama Marriage Requirements

You cannot marry children, siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, grandchildren, grandparents or great grandparents of any relation. You can marry first cousins without restriction, however.

What kind of culture is Alabama? ›

Alabama is rich in rural cultural traditions. Storytelling in particular has attracted the attention of folklore specialists, and quilt making is also a highly developed art. Sacred music, in the form of gospel ensembles and shape-note, or “fa-so-la,” singing, remains a vital part of Alabama's cultural life.

What is the number 2 attraction in Alabama? ›

  • 1: US Space & Rocket Center. Flickr/Sir Mildred Pierce. ...
  • 2: Birmingham Zoo. ...
  • 3: Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. ...
  • 4: Point Mallard Park. ...
  • 5: Cheaha State Park. ...
  • 6: USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. ...
  • 7: Gulf Shores. ...
  • 8: McWane Science Center.

What candy is Alabama known for? ›

Alabama's favorite candy might surprise some
UtahTootsie Pops
VirginiaHot Tamales
Washington, DCM&M's
46 more rows
Oct 25, 2021

What was Alabama called before? ›

Prior to the adoption of the nickname of "Crimson Tide," newspaper accounts from the early 1900s called Alabama simply the "Alabama football team," "Crimson," "Crimson and White," or "the Alabama football eleven," with "eleven" being a common refrain a century ago in reference to the number of players on the field for ...

Is Alabama a beautiful state? ›

Known as “Heart of Dixie” and being synonymous with the American Civil Rights movement, Alabama packs a punch with its collection of proud historic buildings, Franco-Caribbean architecture, stunning forests, and lakes, and jaw-droppingly beautiful coastlines and beaches.

Why are people leaving Alabama? ›

According to the study, the top reason people moved out of Alabama was for a job at 46.72%, followed by family at 29.93%. The same goes for the reason people moved into the state (66.67% for job; 21.84% for family).

What is the nicest city in Alabama? ›


Alabama's capital city lands as the best place to live in the state. Montgomery features plenty of activities and attractions, ranging from a zoo, museums, and riverside parks.

What food is Birmingham known for? ›

Here are 10 of the best foods to try during your next visit to the city.
  • 01 of 10. Alabama Barbecue. Courtesy of SAW'S BBQ. ...
  • 02 of 10. Corn Dog. ...
  • 03 of 10. Oysters. ...
  • 04 of 10. Chicken and Waffles. ...
  • 06 of 10. Stone Ground Baked Grits. ...
  • 07 of 10. Fried Chicken. ...
  • 08 of 10. Popsicle from Steel City Pops. ...
  • 09 of 10. Pho Doc Biet.
Mar 11, 2021

Why is it called Birmingham? ›

In the Saxon 6th Century Birmingham was just one small settlement in thick forest - the home (ham) of the tribe (ing) of a leader called Birm or Beorma.

Why is Birmingham called Magic city? ›

Birmingham, Alabama was founded in 1871 and named in a direct reference to the industrial might of Birmingham UK. It became known as the Magic City because of the rapid growth of its iron and steel industry.

Is Birmingham the youngest city? ›

At the heart of Birmingham's steady growth lies a thriving young community. As the youngest city in Europe, with 40% of its population under the age of 25 and a graduate retention rate of 46%, Birmingham offers ample career opportunities for Millennials and Generation Z.

Is Birmingham a rich city? ›

It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1.145 million in the city proper, 2.92 million in the West Midlands metropolitan county, and approximately 4.3 million in the wider metropolitan area.
GDPUS$ 121.1 billion (2nd)
– Per capitaUS$ 31,572
53 more rows

Why did Birmingham grow? ›

The last 200 years have seen Birmingham rise from market town to the fastest-growing city of the 19th century, spurred on by a combination of civic investment, scientific achievement, commercial innovation and by a steady influx of migrant workers into its suburbs.

What are 3 random facts? ›

Fun Facts and Trivia
  • It is impossible for most people to lick their own elbow. ...
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A shrimp's heart is in its head.
  • It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

How many slaves lived in Alabama? ›

Between 1808 and 1860, the enslaved population of Alabama grew from less than 40,000 to more than 435,000. Alabama had one of the largest slave populations in America at the start of the Civil War.

What state had the last slaves? ›

Delaware prides itself on being “The First State” for ratifying the Constitution before any other, but it was among the last to ratify the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery, waiting until February 1901, more than 35 years after the end of the Civil War.

Who ended slavery? ›

They rejoiced when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring the slaves free in many parts of the South. In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in the country.

What did Alabama invent? ›

Mary Anderson — The Windshield Wiper

During a trip to New York City in 1903, Mary Anderson noticed that her trolley driver was having trouble seeing from the from windshield due to rain and sleet. Once she returned to Alabama, she helped design and secure a patent for the first windshield wiper.

What is Alabama oldest city? ›

History of Childersburg

Childersburg, Alabama is proclaimed as the Oldest Continually Occupied City in America... dating to 1540. The city's beginnings date back to Coosa, a village of the Coosa Indian Nation that was located in the area.

Is Alabama more black or white? ›

Female persons, percent 51.4%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent 68.9%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 26.8%
57 more rows

What language did Alabama speak? ›

Alabama (also known as Alibamu) is a Native American language, spoken by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas.
Alabama language.
RegionCurrently in Texas, Formerly in Oklahoma and Alabama
Native speakersapprox. 370 (2015 census)
Language familyMuskogean Eastern Alabama–Koasati Alabama
8 more rows

How many trophies has Alabama won? ›

The program has 36 seasons with ten wins or more (plus one vacated) and has 46 bowl victories, both NCAA records. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC West Division with 17 division titles and 14 appearances in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama holds a winning record against every current and former SEC school.

Why do Alabama say Roll Tide? ›

The origin of Roll Tide as a rallying cry can be traced to the Alabama—or 'Bama as it's often abbreviated—football team. 'Bama fans yell Roll Tide to encourage the team … not that they need encouraging because they're pretty good at winning. The phrase is sometimes elongated by folks in Birmingham to “roll tide, roll.”

What is Alabama known for food? ›

Alabama is known for its barbecue, like many southern states, and even has it's own unique White BBQ Sauce. But it's also well-known for many other southern and soul food favorites like Fried Green Tomatoes, Classic Southern Smothered Pork Chops, Collard Greens, Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, and Tomato Pie.

Why is Alabama the best state to live? ›

We have a low cost of living, a beautiful gulf coast and scenic mountains. Our home prices and rent costs are below the national average. And there is so much more. Alabama is home to the place named the best city in the country to live – Huntsville.

What was Alabama originally called? ›

ALABAMA: From an Indian tribe of the Creek Confederacy originally called the Alabamas or Alibamons, who in turn gave the name to a river from which the State name was derived.

Why is Alabama unique? ›

A region rich in history and culture, natural beauty, southern hospitality, gorgeous white-sand beaches, forest-smothered mountains and NASA's first moon rockets – Alabama is full of surprises.

What is the #1 best state to live in? ›

The personal finance website has come up with a ranked list of the top 20 best states to live in for 2022. Here are the results! The top state is Massachusetts, which ranked first in the nation for education and health, fourth for safety, sixth for quality of life, and 10th for its economy.

Is Alabama a smart state? ›

The forty-fifth smartest state in the U.S. is Alabama. The state has an average IQ of 95.7 and has one of the lowest average IQ scores in the United States.

How is Alabama ranked 1? ›

The Crimson Tide is atop the polls after a shutout win in week one. Alabama came into the 2022 season ranked No. 1, and after a 55-0 win in week one over Utah State, nothing has changed.


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