Alabama Fun Facts
Flag and History
The current Alabama state flag was adopted on February 16, 1895. It is the St. Andrew’s cross in crimson on field of white. Alabama was admitted to the United States on December 14, 1819 and was the 22nd state.
People have lived in the area now known as Alabama for more than 10,000 years. Thousands of years later, Native American tribes resided in the area. Spanish explorers arrived in the 1500s. The area was controlled at different times by Spain, France and England. Spain controlled the area in the late 1700s and signed it over to the United States, along with what is now Mississippi, in the 1795 Treaty of San Lorenzo and became a U.S. State in 1819. It left the Union in 1861 and rejoined it after the Civil War.
- The name Alabama comes from the Alabama tribe, a Native American group from that area.
- Nickname: Heart of Dixie – Dixie is a nickname for the southern states which left the Union during the Civil War. Alabama is called the Heart of Dixie because the first Confederate capital was Montgomery, Alabama.
- Largest city – Birmingham
- Capital – Montgomery
- State bird – yellowhammer
- State flower – camellia
- State tree – southern longleaf pine
- Alabama is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Mississippi to the west and Florida to the south. Alabama’s southwestern corner accesses the Gulf of Mexico.
Historical Figures from Alabama
- Helen Keller, social activist born in Tuscumbia in 1913
- Rosa Parks, social activist born in Tuskegee in 1913
- Nat King Cole, musician born in Montgomery in 1919
- Jesse Owens, athlete born in Oakville in 1913
- Joe Louis, boxer born in LaFayette in 1914
- Lionel Richie, musician born in Tuskegee in 1949
- Condoleezza Rice, politician born in Birmingham in 1954
- Hank Williams, musician born in Mount Olive in 1923
- Harper Lee, author born in Monroeville 1926
- Frederick Chapman Robbins, physician and Nobel Prize recipient born in Auburn in 1916.
- O. Wilson, biologist born in Birmingham in 1929
- Hank Aaron, major league baseball player born in Mobile in 1934
- Jimmy Wales, inventor and founder of Wikipedia born in Huntsville in 1966.
- Courteney Cox, actor born in Birmingham in 1964