On December 14, 1819, Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state. We all know the state capital is Montgomery, they're really good at college football, and Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote a song about the state in the ’70s. But there’s much more to Alabama. Here are five fun facts you didn't know about the state of Alabama.
The First 911 Call Was Made In Alabama
The Super Soaker, Windshield Wipers, and 911. Alabama is home to a number of firsts. One notable Alabamian first, was the 911 emergency number. On February 16, 1968, the world's first 911 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama. This was not the first three-digit emergency number; that honor belongs to 999 in the UK. But in 1968, a ceremonial 911 call was made between two Alabama politicians. Before 1968, people with emergencies sometimes had to call multiple numbers, which obviously was not an ideal situation if you were having a heart attack. Surprisingly, only 50 percent of the United States had 911 service by 1987. Today, the number is widespread and used throughout the United States and Canada.
Alabama Has The Only US Town Whose Mail Is Delivered by Boat Mark Lipscomb doesn’t have to worry about dogs nipping at his heels during his postal route. Alligators… maybe, but not dogs. That’s because Lipscomb works the only year-round delivery mail route in the country for the small town of Magnolia Springs in Baldwin County. The all-water route started in 1915 and serves close to 180 homes along its 31-mile length. Residents say that mail delivery by boat isn't much different from delivery by mail truck, although if the water gets high enough, your mail can get a bit wet.
Alabama Was The First State To Make Christmas A Legal Holiday…Maybe Full disclosure, there’s a little bit of debate about this one. The legend goes that in 1836, the state made the day a legal holiday so that people could take the day off from work and be with friends and family. The tradition spread from there. The problem is that there's no real proof that Alabama really was the first, although historians generally don't argue with the legend. But if you type into Google, “What’s the first state to make Christmas a holiday in the US?” it will tell you Alabama in big bold letters, and that’s good enough for us, right?
Alabama Has Had Five Capitals In Its History
When Alabama was a territory, the town of St. Stephens in what is now Washington County served as the capital. The convention that framed the constitution under which it was admitted into the Union was held in Huntsville, the state’s second capital. And it was there that the legislators decided on Alabama’s first permanent capital – Cahaba (also spelled Cahawba). And if you’ve never heard of this place, you’re probably not alone. Located in Dallas County, where the Cahaba and Alabama rivers meet, Cahaba is a ghost town today. In 1825, the capital was moved to Tuscaloosa, and in 1846 it was again moved, this time to Montgomery.
It Is Illegal to Wrestle a Bear in Alabama It is illegal in Alabama to sell, purchase, possess, or train a bear for bear wrestling. Bear wrestling matches used to be a pretty big deal in Alabama. They were so popular that the state of Alabama added a law under Section 13A-12-5 about “bear exploitation” that explicitly forbids people from engaging in bear wrestling matches. This is a Class B felony which is the same as being charged with manslaughter, so this is a big deal.