Alabama State Facts - Alabama History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Alabama history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Alabama
Capital Montgomery
32.35440 N, 086.28428 W
Constitution Ratified 1901
Statehood December 14, 1819
22nd State
Counties 67 Counties in Alabama
Largest County
(by population)
1,113 sq. mi.

Alabama History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1540 -On October 18, 1540, the largest Indian battle in North America occurred when the Spaniards under Hernando de Soto attacked Chief Tuscaloosa's village of Mabila (or Mauvila). Most of the 2,000 inhabitants were killed during the battle.
  • 1811 and 1812 - Schools established in Mobile include Washington Academy (founded in 1811) and Huntsville Green Academy (founded in 1812).
  • 1814 - General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians in 1814. Following the event the Native Americans ceded nearly half the present state land to the United States.
  • 1817-1819 - Between 1817 and 1819 Old Saint Stephens was the first territorial capital of Alabama.
  • 1818 - Blount County was created on February 7, 1818 and is older than the state.
  • 1819 - Alabama became the 22nd state on December 14, 1819.
  • 1834 - Peter Bryce is recognized as the state's first psychiatrist. He was born in 1834 and died in 1892.
  • 1846 - January 28, 1846, Montgomery was selected as capital of Alabama.
  • 1861 -
    • Confederate flag was designed and first flown in Alabama.
    • January 11, 1861, Alabama becomes the fourth state to secede from the Union.
  • 1864 - Battle of Mobile Bay, Admiral David Farragut issued his famous command, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." The event occurred on August 5, 1864.
  • 1886 - World's first Electric Trolley System was introduced in Montgomery.
  • 1895 - Alabama State Flag was authorized by the Alabama legislature on February 16, 1895.
  • 1902 -
    • Dr. Hill performed the first open heart surgery in the Western Hemisphere, by suturing a stab wound in a young boy's heart. The surgery occurred in Montgomery.
    • Tallulah Bankhead was born in Huntsville. She died in 1968, entertained as a star of stage, screen, and radio during the 1930s-1950s.
  • 1914 - Boxer Joe Louis was born in Lexington. He died in 1981.
  • 1919 - Singer and entertainer Nathaniel Adams (Nat King) Cole was born in Montgomery, known as the man with the velvet voice. He died in 1965.
  • 1927 - The Yellowhammer was named the State Bird of Alabama
  • 1931 -
    • Baseball player Willie Howard Mays was born in Westfield.
    • The Birmingham Airport opened in 1931. At the time of the opening a Birmingham to Los Angeles flight took 19 hours.
    • The words of Alabama, is the Alabama state song
  • 1934 - Baseball player Henry Louis (Hank) Aaron was born in Mobile.
  • 1937 - To help fund education Alabama instituted its state sales tax.
  • 1939 -
    • A bill was introduced by the legislature to restore the original seal as the Great Seal of Alabama.
    • Audemus jura nostra defendere is the official Alabama state motto. Translated it means "we dare defend our rights."
  • 1950s - The United States space flight program at Redstone Arsenal and George C. Marshall Space Flight Center made Huntsville a leading aerospace center.
  • 1953 - The state legislature approved Act no. 244, adopting the Alabamian's Creed, as Alabama's Creed.
  • 1955 - Black woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white passenger. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a successful boycott of the city's public transportation and brought the technique of passive resistance to national prominence. 
  • 1956 - The Army Ballistic Missile Agency was established at Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal.
  • 1967 - Adopted red iron ore, with the scientific name of hematite as the state mineral.
  • 1975 - Act no. 1153 designated the Racking Horse as Alabama State Horse
  • 1982 - The Act no. 82-17 made the pecan the Alabama State Nut.
  • 1988 - The Florence Renaissance Faire became the official state faire
  • 1989 - The legislature made the Monarch Butterfly the state insect
  • 1990 - The Star Blue Quartz became the state gemstone
  • 1995 - Heather Whitestone serves as first Miss America chosen with a disability.
  • 1997 - The Southern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Miller), was specified as the state tree of Alabama
  • 1999 - Legislature designated that the camellia, Camellia japonica L., as the official state flower of Alabama.
  • 2006 -

More Alabama History Firsts & State Facts

  • Alabama workers built the first rocket to put humans on the moon.
  • There are no large natural lakes in Alabama, but the state has several large reservoirs, including Wheeler Lake on the Tennessee River and R. L. Harris Reservoir on the Tallapoosa River.
  • Alabama is the only state with all major natural resources needed to make iron and steel. It is also the largest supplier of cast-iron and steel pipe products.
  • Alabama has 20 major aquifers that supply water from the land surface to depths approaching 3,000 feet. The deepest public water supply well is constructed in the Tuscaloosa Group aquifer in Dale County (2,750 feet).
  • Alabama receives approximately 55 inches of rainfall each year, but, on average, only 6 inches move underground to become ground-water recharge
  • Alabama introduced the Mardi Gras to the western world. The celebration is held on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins.
  • Montgomery is the capital and the birthplace of the Confederate States of America.
  • A skeleton of a pre-historic man was found in Russell Cave. A skeleton of a pre-historic man was found in Russell Cave, Bridgeport, AL.
  • Birmingham has been recognized as the South's top city for income growth and among the top ten nationally over the last 20 years.
  • The town of Enterprise houses the Boll Weevil Monument to acknowledge the role this destructive insect played in encouraging farmers to grow crops other than cotton. The world's only monument dedicated to an insect pest.
  • Located in the Hall of History, in Bessemer, is Hitler's typewriter.
  • At 2,405 feet Cheaha Mountain is Alabama's highest point above sea level.
  • Alabama's mean elevation is 500 feet at its lowest elevation point.
  • Huntsville is known as the rocket capital of the World.
  • The Alabama Department of Archives is the oldest state-funded archival agency in the nation.
  • Huntsville, Alabama is known as the Rocket Capital of the World and is home of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.
  • The musical singing group Alabama has a Fan Club and Museum in Fort Payne.
  • Montgomery was the birthplace and capital of the Confederate States of America.
  • The United States Army Chemical Corps Museum in Fort McClellan contains over 4,000 chemical warfare artifacts.
  • Governor George C. Wallace served four terms in office.
  • Alabama's geographic center is located in Chilton a community located 12 miles southwest of Clanton.
  • The word 'Alabama' means tribal town in the Creek Indian language.
  • The United States Army Chemical Corps Museum in Fort McClellan contains over 4000 chemical warfare artifacts.
  • Winston County is often called the Free State of Winston. It gained the name during the Civil War.
  • Mobile is named after the Mauvilla Indians.
  • People from Alabama are called Alabamians.
  • Alabama resident Sequoyah devised the phonetic, written alphabet of the Cherokee language.
  • Washington County is the oldest county in Alabama.
County Information and County History
State Facts & History Firsts
State Fun Facts - History Firsts