Alabama State Geography

So you want to know about Alabama? Here are some highlights! Also check out the links to other sites about Alabama.

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Key Facts

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Population (1994): 4,219,000 (22nd in size)

State size: 51,718 square miles (29th in size)

State Capital: Montgomery (named after General Montgomery a hero in the Revolutionary war)

Major cities: Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa

Admission to union: The 22nd State

Date entered the union: December 14, 1819

Origin of state name: Named after the indian tribe the Alibamu

Nicknames: The Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie, and the Cotton State

Bordering states: Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee with Gulf of Mexico on the south

State bird: Wild turkey

State flower: Camellia

State Tree: Southern Pine

Motto: We Dare Defend Our Rights


Geographic Landmarks

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  Northern Alabama is heavily forested with many wilderness areas including national forests and state parks. In northeastern Alabama are the Appalachian foothills. This area is mostly rolling hills with many lakes and rivers. Mount Cheaha, located in the Talladega National Forest is the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet.

Alabama has many rivers which are popular for fishing, and some with whitewater rapids making them popular for rafting and kayaking. Alabama has many underground caves including DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg, Sequoyah Caverns in Valley Head, and Russell Cave National Monument in Bridgeport. The Rickwood Caverns State Park has 260 million year old limestone formations and is home to cave dwelling wildlife. Alabama also has many swamps and wetlands. They are home to alligators, and many varieties of water birds and fish.

Southern Alabama touches on the Gulf of Mexico, providing beaches and recreation areas.


Points of Interest

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  The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville was involved in the first race for space. Exhibits show the past, present and future of space exploration, including a Mars mission virtual reality adventure.

The Talladega Super Speedway is the site of NASCAR Winston Cup motor racing events. It is also home to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Alabama has many pre-Civil War mansions open as tourist attractions. The Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion in Tuscaloosa has 2,125 rooms.

The restored USS Alabama, a World War II battleship, is permanently harbored in Mobile Bay as a tourist attraction. The attraction also includes the USS Drum, a World War II submarine and military aircraft.


Major Industries

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  Manufacturing includes electronics, iron and steel production, plastics and paper products. Natural resources include iron, oil, coal and timber. Agriculture includes chicken, corn, cotton and peanuts.


Historical Highlights

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  Originally home to many indian tribes, it was first settled by the Spanish in 1540. Later both the French and English settled in the area.

During the Civil War, the Alabama State Capital served as the first Confederate government office and still has the first White House of the Confederacy.

Alabama played a major role in the civil rights movement. Montgomery, Alabama, is considered the birthplace of the civil rights movement.


Population and Culture

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  Alabama still maintains its strong southern traditions. Alabama is a strongly religious state, with politics and religion playing a major role in the lives of many residents.



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  Alabama has a moderate climate with mild temperatures. Northern Alabama may get occasional snow in the winter. Summer temperatures reach the mid-90 degrees Fahrenheit.


Interesting Tidbits

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  W.C. Hardy who was known as the "Father of the Blues" music, and composer of the Memphis Blues and the St. Louis Blues was born in Florence, Alabama.

Helen Keller who became famous for overcoming the limitations of her deafness and blindness was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama.


Links to other sites about Alabama

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Alabama State Flag


Alabama State Government home page

Alabama State Archives

Alabama State Archives History Section

Alabama State Archives History Related Links


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