Introductions are nice, right? I mean, it’s pretty awkward when intros aren’t made. Rest assured I don’t want any awkwardness here so by all means, please let me introduce my home state with these Alabama fun facts. There might be a few you’ve heard of before but I bet many of these will be new to most of you!
Alabama Fun Facts
1. Alabama officially became a state on December 14, 1819.
2. This means Alabama just celebrated its 200th birthday on December 14, 2019. Happy 200th Alabama!
3. Alabama has around 4.8 million people making it the 24th most populous state.
4. Alabama was first discovered by Spaniards as they moved through hunting gold; however, the state was settled by the French.
5. Sweet Home Alabama is a real thing. Henry W. Sweet had his house custom built in 1906 for $10,000. Located in Bessemer, Alabama, there is even a historical plaque the public can view!
6. Although it’s known by a few different ones, Alabama doesn’t have an official nickname.
7. Conversely, many of Alabama’s cities do have official nicknames. Birmingham is “The Magic City”, Huntsville is “The Rocket City”, and Mobile is “The Azalea City” to name a few.
8. Thinking of wrestling a bear while in Alabama? Better not-it’s a Class-B felony to do so!
9. Like playing dominos? That’s all good for six days out of the week. But on Sundays? Nope, illegal here in Alabama!
10. Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a holiday. After the state declared in 1836, the federal government followed suit in 1870. #trendsetter
11. Alabama is the only state in the US with an alcoholic beverage for its official drink. Bet you’re thinking Alabama Slammer, right? Wrong! The correct answer is Conecuh Ridge Whiskey. This is somewhat amusing since Alabama is one of the driest states in terms of actually drinking alcohol.
12. Saturn V, the first rocket to send man to the moon, was designed in Huntsville, Alabama.
13. The Alabama Beach Mouse and the Perdido Key Beach Mouse can be found in Alabama. Both endangered, they are two of North America’s rarest wildlife species.
14. Alabama is the only state that can produce iron and steel with its own natural resources.
15. Alabama is home to the only person in history confirmed to have survived a hit from a meteorite. Ann Hodges was napping on her couch when the incident occurred on November 30, 1954, in Oak Grove. Talk about a rude awakening!
16. Monroeville, Alabama’s Old Courthouse is a museum dedicated to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. While the movie wasn’t filmed there, the set designer did come to measure the dimensions, draw and take photos to recreate the set in Hollywood. Harper Lee grew up watching her father practice law in this very courthouse.
17. Martin Luther King, Jr. began his pastoral career at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
18. Anniston, Alabama is home to the world’s largest office chair which is made from 10 tons of steel!
19. The first 9-1-1 call was made in Haleyville, Alabama on February 16, 1968.
20. Windshield wipers were invented by Birmingham, Alabama native, Mary Anderson. She conceived the idea during a visit to New York City. While stuck in traffic, she watched the streetcar driver open the window to clear the snow with his hands. She later obtained a US patent for her “window cleaning device” in 1903.
21. Mobile, Alabama is known as the Home of Mardi Gras since it was the first place to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
22. Interestingly enough, Mobile was previously the capital of Louisiana (dating back to 1702). It didn’t become part of Alabama until December 14, 1819. That Mardi Gras thing is making a bit more sense now, isn’t it?
23. Alabama has the longest constitution of all the 50 United States. To give an idea of just how long it is, Alabama’s constitution has 300,000 words while the US Constitution only has around 4,500 words! Okay, so we’re wordy here…
24. Birmingham, Alabama is home to the largest cast-iron statue in the world. Erected in 1904, it was Birmingham’s entry in that year’s World Fair in St. Louis winning the grand prize. Vulcan’s 56-foot height is second only to the Statue of Liberty.
25. The highest point in Alabama is Mount Cheaha which is 2,407 feet above sea level.
26. The very first US civil aviation school was opened by the Wright Brothers outside of Montgomery, Alabama.
27. The first successful heart surgery on a living patient was performed in Alabama in 1902. The patient was a 13-year-old boy.
28. Alabama is considered the most religious state in the US.
29. The telegram that started the Civil War was sent from Alabama.
30. Alabama has the country’s largest snail population. 43% to be exact.
31. Alabama was the first state in the US to celebrate Veterans Day. Occurring in Birmingham in 1947, it still has the nation’s largest and oldest celebration.
32. Alabama is home to the longest NASCAR oval track in the United States and quite possibly the world. Talladega Superspeedway’s oval race track measures 2.66 miles around.
33. Alabama has had five capitals: St Stephens (1817), Huntsville (1819), Cahaba (1820), Tuscaloosa (1826), and Montgomery (1846, permanent).
34. The state is home to the world’s first monument dedicated to an agricultural pest. That’s right! In Enterprise, Alabama, you can see the Boll Weevil Monument. Erected in 1919, the statue honors the insect which had a profound influence on the city’s agriculture and economy.
35. Scottsboro, Alabama is home to the Unclaimed Baggage Store where all lost travel luggage winds up after efforts are exhausted in an attempt to find its owner.
36. Alabama is home to the first Mercedes Benz factory in the United States. No, unfortunately that doesn’t mean discounts for us!
37. The state once had wooden roads (pine wooden roads if you must know) along the Alabama River.
38. There is a Peanut Capital of the World and it’s located in Dothan, Alabama. Over 50% of peanuts in the United States are grown within 100 miles of Dothan. There might even be an annual Peanut Festival…just saying!
39. Birmingham is home to Alabama Booksmith, the only bookstore in the world that sells signed-only copies of its books.
40. The only city in the United States where mail is delivered completely on the water (via boat) is Magnolia Springs, Alabama.
41. The world’s first electric streetcar system, “Lightning Route”, was established in Montgomery, Alabama in 1886.
42. Alabama’s Shelby County Habitat for Humanity holds the world record for the fastest built house. Located in Montevallo, it only took 3 hours 26 minutes 34 seconds.
43. The world’s biggest motorcycle museum is in Birmingham, Alabama at Barber Vintage Motorsports.
44. Did you know that the Fire Hydrant Capital of the World is in Alabama? Located in Albertville, there is a chrome fire hydrant that was installed at the Chamber of Commerce building after the Mueller Company produced its one-millionth fire hydrant.
45. Alabama is home to Ave Maria Grotto and St Bernard Abbey, the only place in the nation where you will find miniature versions of world-famous religious landmarks built by a monk.
46. Alabama is the largest producer of cast-iron in the United States.
47. Alabama is home to Coon Dog Cemetery which is the only one of its kind worldwide.
48. Alabama is home to the nation’s oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field. The Birmingham park has hosted the likes of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, and Willie Mays. It isn’t to be confused with the oldest major league baseball park still in operation which is Boston’s Fenway Park.
49. Some of Alabama’s famous natives are Nat King Cole, Hank Aaron, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Courtney Cox, Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle), Octavia Spencer, Bo Jackson, Terrell Owens, Channing Tatum, Lionel Richie, Willie Mays, Mia Hamm, Harper Lee, Emmylou Harris, Jordan Fisher, Hank Williams, Condoleeza Rice, and Carl Lewis.
50. Alabama is home to the first animal that survived a trip to space. Miss Baker, a cute little squirrel monkey, has a grave at the Space and Rocker Center in Huntsville. She’s buried next to her first husband Big George and people often leave bananas on top of her headstone. She died in 1984 at the age of 27 becoming the longest living squirrel monkey on record.
I don’t know about you, but I found a lot of these Alabama fun facts quite interesting, not just fun. How about you?
Alabamians: Did you know all of these Alabama fun facts? I didn’t! Which one surprised you most?
Are you ready to visit Alabama yet? Which of these things would you want to see most?