22 Things You Might Not Know About The State Of Alabama

Recently, for my Public Speaking class we were assigned to write an informative speech on something in regards to the state of Alabama. Well there are so many cool things about Alabama, and while I was researching I cam across all these really neat facts that I never knew about my great state. So I thought I would share with you as well! Enjoy!

1. The word Alabama means “tribal town” in the Creek Indian language

This is kind of debated because some people say that we were actually named after other Indian tribes but this is the main theory.

2. We once had wooden roads

Tannehill State Park “Plank Road”

Yeah seriously, who thought this would hold up? Apparently Governor Collier believed that the roads would be a good alternative to the railroad and would even compete with them. We obviously know this as false considering the railroad is still around and most of us didn’t even know wooden roads existed. Fortunately, the interest only lasted about 5 years.

3. We were the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday.

Yep! In 1836 we officially one-upped everyone else and claimed Christmas as an official holiday. So you can thank us later.

4. We have the worlds only coon dog cemetery

If this isn’t the most Alabama thing you’ve ever heard…but its true. There are over 185 pups buried here. You can visit their official site here.

5. We are the only state to have an alcoholic beverage as our official drink.

Unlike other states who claim milk and orange juice as their state drink, we claim whiskey. Originally called “conecuh style” the whiskey is not called “Clyde May’s”. The taste is a hint of cinnamon, you can visit their site here.

6. A cemetery in Clarke County features gravestones with imprints of the deceased’s face

Talk about creepy. Supposedly these masks were cast by inventor Issac Nettles as a way to remember the dead after they were gone. They were cast before death, fortunately, and put to use when needed.

7. The telegram that started the Civil War came from Alabama.

We all know Alabama was a huge part of the Civil War, but you probably didn’t know that we kinda started it. It was sent out of Montgomery to General Beauregard from Leroy Pope and read: “Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will state the time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us unless ours should be employed against Fort Sumter, you are thus authorized to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgment decides to be most practicable. L. P. Walker, Sec. of War. C.S.A.”

8. The rocket that sent man to the moon was designed in Alabama.

The Saturn V rocket was designed in Huntsville, AL at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

9. We have the longest constitution of any of the 50 states

With over 300,000 words, Alabama beats out all other states for the longest state constitution.

10. The Yellowhammer is more than just the state bird

The yellowhammer was chosen as the official state bird to commemorate Confederate soldiers who acquired the nickname “yellowhammer” due to the yellow trimming of their uniforms

11. Alabama is the only place in the world where all three ingredients needed to make steel can be found in close proximity to each other.

Known as the steel city, Birmingham is the only place in the world where all the ingredients for steel are found in the same place.

12. Feeling patriotic? Alabama was the first place in the country to celebrate Veterans day.

In Birmingham, the first Veterans day parade was held and it continues to be the largest Veterans day parade in the country.

13. It is actually illegal to drive blindfolded in Alabama.

Yep, hate to break it to ya.

14. The skeleton of a pre-historic man was found in Russel Cave.

Yes, it is actually real! The skeleton is now on display in the museum for everyone to see.

15. The first open-heart surgery in the western hemisphere was performed in Alabama.

In 1902, Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performed the open-heart surgery in Montgomery.

16. Alabama has the largest snail population in the US

In fact, 43% of all snails in the US are found in the state of Alabama

17. Alabama is mostly made up of forest

67% of Alabama’s land mass is made up of forest. That is approximately 22 million acres.

18. Mardi Gras actually originated in Alabama (as far as the US is concerned)

In 1703 Mobile was the first place in the United States to celebrate Mardi Gras, 10 years before New Orleans adopted the tradition.

19. Alabama has the last all water mail route in the US

The town of Magnolia Springs is the last city in the US thats mail is delivered completely by boat.

20. The first emergency call was made in Alabama

In Haleyville in 1968, the first 911 call ever was made.

21. The “heart of dixie” nickname actually has nothing to do with Alabama

According to this site, heart of dixie comes from: Before the Civil War (1861-1865), the Citizens Bank of Louisiana issued $10 notes that bore the French word “dix” meaning 10. This led to the South becoming known as Dixieland, and since Alabama served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, it became known as the “Heart of Dixie.”

22. Dothan is the peanut capital of the world.

In fact, 50% of all peanuts grown in the world are grown in a 100 mile radius of Dothan, AL

Well thats all y’all. Hope you enjoyed learning more about our beautiful state!

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1 Comment

  1. As a history teacher (& an Alabama history buff) I knew a couple of these, but a lot of them were new! I’m definitely book-marking this to share with my kids this week while we’re studying the states east of the Mississippi. We’re actually visiting Tannehill this Wednesday, so I’ll get to check out those wooden roads myself, hopefully!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

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