Alabama’s first European settlers weren’t English, but French. The two groups, along with Native Americans, fought for the area for most of the 18th century. Alabama became a state in 1819.

Fun Facts

  • Alabama was one of the states that seceded (left) from America during the Civil War. Montgomery, Alabama was the capital of the South during this period.
  • After the Civil War, Alabama, like many Southern states, experienced economic and social hardship.
  • The state has always had a strong agriculture economy. Cotton and tobacco were major products during the 1800s. Today, Alabama produces fruit, vegetables, dairy products and beef cattle. About 70 percent of the state is covered with forests; timber is an important part of the economy too.
  • Alabama was a hot spot during the civil rights movement. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to white passengers, sparking the beginnings of the movement.
  • Today, Alabama is known for the NASA space program.
  • Coyotes, alligators, wild pigs, and armadillos live in Alabama, along with the hellbender, the largest salamander in North America.
  • Helen Keller was born in Ivy Green, Alabama.

Alabama Quick Stats

Population: 4,779,736

State Capital: Montgomery (population, 205,764)

Largest City: Birmingham (population, 212,237)

Largest Metro: Greater Birmingham

State Bird: northern flicker

State Flower: camellia

Admission to Union: December 14, 1819

Questions and Answers

Question: Why is Alabama called “The Heart of Dixie?”

Answer: The Confederate states (the states that left the Union during the Civil War) were sometimes called Dixie. Alabama is the heart of Dixie because Montgomery was the Confederate capital.

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