Alabama, the Yellowhammer State

Alabama, the Yellowhammer State

by Sandra Merville Hart

One of Alabama’s nickname is The Yellowhammer State. In the Civil War, uniforms trimmed in yellow were worn by an Alabama company of soldiers, earning them the name Yellowhammers.

Alabama is also known as The Heart of Dixie because Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederacy.

Alabama’s early history

cotton-capsule-293687_960_720Native Americans occupied the Alabama area around 10,000 years ago. Europeans arrived there in the 1500s. Cotton became a central part of the state’s economy by the 19th century.

Alabama becomes a state

Alabama became the twenty-second state on December 14, 1819.

Alabama during the Civil War

Alabama joined the Confederate States of America. The state capital, Montgomery, was also the first capital of the Confederacy.

Tuskegee Airmen

The first African American airmen in the United States Military were trained in Alabama. With an impressive combat record, The Tuskegee Airmen accumulated over 850 medals. In 1948, their impressive combat record was one of the reasons President Truman desegregated the armed forces.

Rosa Parks sits down

The City of Montgomery provided “separate but equal” seating. Bus drivers assigned seats with white passengers in front and African American passengers in the back. If the front section filled up, the bus driver asked African American to move back a row.

Rosa Parks, a seamstress, boarded a bus on December 1, 1955. The driver asked her and three others to move further to the back when the front section filled. Rosa refused and was arrested.

Rosa’s courageous refusal sparked a city-wide bus boycott. A year later the city allowed folks to choose their seat.

berries-713054_960_720Other fun facts about Alabama

In 1836, Alabama declared Christmas a legal holiday. They were the first state to do this.

Third graders from Fairhope Elementary School and their teachers, Amy Jones and Susan Sims, campaigned to have blackberries designated as Alabama’s official fruit – and won!

Alabama has a state Bible. Jefferson Davis used the historic Bible, purchased in 1853, when being sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America. This same Bible has been used to swear in all of Alabama’s governors since 1853.

 

Sources

“Alabama,” History.com, 2016/06/06  http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/alabama.

“Alabama,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/06  http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/states/united-states/alabama.

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About the 50 States, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.

“Rosa Parks Biography,” bio., 2016/06/07  http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715.

 

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