Alabama Facts
Alabama Facts

27 Sweet Alabama Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 13, 2019
  • While Alabama doesn't have an officially recognized nickname, it is often referred to as the "Heart of Dixie," the "Camellia State," the "Cotton State," and, yes, "Bama."[11]
  • The name "Alabama" is from the Choctaw Native American alba amo, which means "clearers of the thicket." The Choctaw people were once called the Alba Amo.[11]
  • Alabama is the 10th largest producer of cotton in the United States.[11]
  • Alabama became the fourth state to officially secede from the Union in January 1861.[8]
  • In 2015, 10 Civil War cannonballs were discovered buried under sidewalks at the University of Alabama.[5]
  • Crazy Alabama Facts
    The boll weevil decimated Alabama's cotton crops, which actually led to the diversification of crops and progressive social change
  • 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.[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.[13]
  • 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.[10]
  • 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.[7]
  • Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday in 1836. The United States didn't recognize it as such until 1870.[8]
  • Famous Alabamians include George Washington Carver (1864–1943), Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, Harper Lee, Rosa Parks, Tuscaloosa, Hiram "Hank" Williams, Emmy Lou Harris, Evander Holyfield, Bo Jackson, and Booker T. Washington.[1]
  • NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson of Mobile, Alabama, invented the world-famous Super Soaker, which is ranked among the Top 20 selling toys since its release in 1989.[9]
  • People who live in Alabama are called Alabamians or Alabamans.[13]
  • Huntsville, Alabama, is known as "Rocket City," because the Saturn V rocket, which first sent Americans to the Moon in 1969, was built at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.[9]
  • I got the sense that Alabama is a place where people don't want handouts and don't much care for people talking out of the side of their mouth.

    - Adam McKay

  • The co-founder of now ubiquitous Wikipedia, Jimmy  "Jimbo" Wales, was born in Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. In 2007, he was among the 100 most influential people in the world.[9]
  • Alabamian Mary Anderson invented the world's first windshield wipers. However, because some people thought the device would be a distraction, she never made money from her invention.[9]
  • The fire hydrant capital of the world is Albertville, Alabama. A nickel-plated fire hydrant commemorates the one millionth unit produced and is displayed near the Albertville Chamber of Commerce.[15]
  • Alabama—not New Orleans—was the first place to celebrate Mardi Gras. When Mobile, Alabama, was founded in 1702, mystic societies called "krewes" held the gatherings.[12]
  • Alabama is famous for a four-acre miniature city named Ava Maria, which was built by a hunchback monk. Brother Joseph Zoettl built his last model at the age of 80 in 1958.[2]
  • Avia Maria Grotto
    Brother Joseph was not allowed to become a priest due to his hunchback, so he ran the monastery's power plant and created a stunning mini-city in his spare time

  • Alabama billionaire George Barber had several life-sized dinosaurs built and placed around the 10,000-acre woods around his house.[6]
  • Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid, was born in Chambers County, Alabama, in 1850. Garrett himself was murdered on February 29, 1908.[3]
  • Alabama has its own Peanut Butter Festival each October.[11]
  • While the rest of the United States eagerly awaits Punxsutawney Phil's weather prediction on February 2, Alabama has it own weather forecasting possum named Sand Mountain Sam.[14]
  • Anticipating the Civil War, the Confederate States of America was formed in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Confederacy went to war on a $500,000 loan from the state.[11]
  • The Confederate flag was first made and flown in Alabama.[11]
  • Confederate Flag Facts
    Today, most Confederate flags are imported from China and Taiwan

  • The telegram that authorized the beginning of the Civil War was sent from Montgomery, Alabama.[11]
  • Abbeville, Alabama, is the first city in the United States alphabetically.[4]
  • Fun Alabama Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Alabama Info

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