Alabama was the twenty-second state admitted to the Union, which happened on December 14, 1819. It is in the south-eastern part of the United States, and is bordered by Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida. There is a small piece of the state, around Mobile, that borders the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama is considered the heart of Dixie, but its official nickname is the Yellowhammer State. The Yellowhammer is one of the nicknames for the Northern Flicker, the official state bird. Montgomery is the state capital, with a population of 200k+, while slightly-larger Birmingham is the largest city in the state. The total population of Alabama was 4.8m in 2010, making it the twenty-third largest state by population in the USA.
Until World War II, Alabama was primarily an agricultural state, which led to many economic hardships through the years. After the war, it diversified into mineral extraction, manufacturing, and technology. Alabama also hosts a significant number of US military personnel on Army and Air Force bases, which have helped boost employment throughout the state. The climate of Alabama, like most of its neighbors, is classified as humid subtropical, which means it is prone to thunder storms, tropical storms, and even hurricanes. Average high temperature in the summer is over 90, with warmer temperatures farther south, near the Gulf of Mexico, and cooler temperatures up north, in the Appalachian mountains. Winters are generally mild, as they are throughout the region, with average January low temperatures around 40 degrees.
Nature lovers visiting Alabama should not miss Noccalula Falls, in Gasden. Considered the most beautiful spot in Alabama, the falls are said to be the location where a love-crossed Indian maiden named Noccalula took her life. Besides the falls themselves, there is a petting zoo, miles of nature trails, and a swimming spot. For visitors who are more interested in urban culture, the state capitol building in Montgomery is the second-most visited site in Alabama; the first is the falls. The original building was burned down in 1849 and rebuilt on the same site in 1851. Ten years later, it became the site of the first meeting of the Confederate Congress, which voted to secede from the Union in February of 1861. There is a star marking the spot where Jefferson Davis took his oath of office as the first, and only, President of the Confederacy. From history to nature to cultural arts and education, Alabama is one place that is definitely worth a visit.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan