State of Alabama

The name of Alabama comes from an ancient tribe called Alibamu, a name that they also used for the Alabama River which in the language of the Native Americans Choctaw means «thickener cleaner.»

It is known as the «State of the Woodpecker» («Yellowhammer State»), for a term applied to its confederation troops. In addition, it’s nicknamed the «Heart of the Southern States» («Heart of Dixie») and the «State of Camellia» («Camellia State»).

Montgomery, on the banks of the Alabama River, is its capital. The largest and most important cities are Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, Decatur, Gadsden and Auburn.

It is located in the southeast of the USA. It borders to the north with the state of Tennessee, to the south with Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, to the east with Georgia and to the west with the state of Mississippi.

Alabama has no natural lakes, but engineers have built dams on the Tennessee River in several of its bends to create large reserves and recreational lakes. Among them Lake Gunterville, Wheeler, Lewis Smith and Weiss.

The climate is subtropical. Long and very hot summers, abundant rains and mild winters predominate. Average annual temperatures range from 16 ° C in the north to almost 21 ° C near the Gulf of Mexico.

Forests cover approximately 65% of the total area. In addition to the pines, other tree species, such as American walnut, cypress or southern magnolia, are well represented.

Services, commerce, industry and public administrations are the sectors that, in this order, occupy a greater percentage of the state’s workforce.

Its economy has long been based on livestock and cotton cultivation.

The deposits of coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as iron ore, allowed during the 20th century the development of an important steel industry around the city of Birmingham, although from the eighties iron production stagnated due to competition from foreign blast furnaces.

The mining and industrial activities have a great weight in the state. Among the most important minerals in the state is coal, which is found mostly in the northern half of the state, oil and natural gas, which are mainly found in the eastern coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico.

With respect to industry, textiles and clothing, transport equipment, primary metals, paper and their derivatives are the most important manufactures, as well as industrial machinery, rubber processing and plastic products.

Among the great tourist attractions of this state, we must highlight the Marshall Space Flight Center, a site of excellence for space propulsion and a leading institute in the development of the country’s reusable space transport systems. There, new scientific knowledge is generated for both the nation and NASA. Additionally, the Space Museum and the largest collection of helicopters in the world stand out. There are gardens, historical sites and natural wildlife shelters.

Cheaha State Park and Horseshoe National Military Park, where Andrew Jackson won the victory over the Creeks in 1814, are two of the state’s main tourist attractions.

The first Alabama school was founded in 1799, but at that time the legislation did not establish a public education system that encompassed the entire state. Some of the most important institutions of higher education are the University of Alabama, the University of Auburn and the University of Tuskegee.

The most important museums in Alabama are the Birmingham Museum of Art, the South Museum of Fine Arts in Mobile, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the Kennedy-Douglass House in Florence. Likewise, numerous historic house-museums are open to the public, in Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and in the Black Belt. Anthropologists, folklorists and linguists have been interested in the cultural manifestations of the inhabitants of the mountainous area of the north of the state, where unique patterns of language and a unique vocabulary have been developed and survived, as well as numerous legends, myths, superstitions, songs, and local stories.

Museo de Arte de Birmingham

Huntsville, Alabama