Many historical events have taken place in Alabama–even in the state’s smaller towns. Some of these events are well known, while others aren’t. Let’s take a look at 10 small towns in Alabama where huge things have happened.
NOTE: A few of these towns may not necessarily be considered very small (unless compared to a larger city). However, when these huge events took place, the towns were much smaller than they are today.
During the 1930s, most of the world's attention was focused on the Scottsboro Boys; nine black teenagers who were falsely charged with raping two white Alabama women. This case, more than any other event in the South during the 1930s, showcased the mistreatment of blacks. Several books and movies have been inspired by this historical event. The trials took place at the Jackson County Courthouse in Scottsboro.
2. Muscle Shoals
Muscle Shoals is home to Fame Recording Studios. Even though this studio is small and located far away from the music industry's main recording spots, it has produced many hit records. Musicians still use the studio for recording purposes.
In 1997, Fame Recording Studios was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
On November 30, 1954, in Sylacauga, Ann Hodges was napping on her couch. All of the sudden, a softball-size meteorite broke through the ceiling and hit her in the thigh. Surprisingly, she survived. She's also the only confirmed person in history to have been hit by a meteorite. The "Housewife-Whacking Meteorite," as many call it, is currently on display at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa.
Located in Bridgeport, Russell Cave is the third longest mapped cave in Alabama, and the 90th in the U.S. The entrance of this cave was once used as a shelter for prehistoric Indians during the earliest known human settlement in the southeastern United States. The skeleton of a prehistoric man was found inside this cave by archaeologists. Russell Cave was named a National Monument in 1961.
In 1896, George Washington Carver, a botanist and inventor, was invited by Booker T. Washington to take over the Tuskegee Institute's agriculture department. Carver taught there for 47 years and revolutionized farming techniques across the nation. He gained international fame as an agricultural educator, inventor and researcher because of his work in Tuskegee.
Tuscumbia is the birthplace of Helen Keller. Known as the "First Lady of Courage," Helen had to overcome many obstacles in her lifetime--such as being blind and deaf. She grew up to become of one the most famous and successful people from Alabama. The actual well pump where she first communicated with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, is located in Tuscumbia at her birthplace (Ivy Green). Helen learning to say "water" at the water pump is a moment that's recorded in history.
The three Selma to Montgomery marches, which took place in 1965, were part of the Voting Rights Movement that was underway in Selma, Alabama. These marches highlighted the South's racial injustice.
In Alabama, the most exciting news of 1937 was the opening of Bangor Café Club – the only underground nightclub in America. Located in Bangor, Alabama, this club became one of the most glamorous and controversial places in the South.
On Friday, February 16, 1968, the very first American 911 call was placed in Haleyville, thanks to the initiative of the local telephone company. Because of that historical call, Americans are able to quickly report emergencies using the three-digit number.
The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was fought during the War of 1812 in the Mississippi Territory, which is now central Alabama (near Dadeville).
Are you familiar with any other historical events that have taken place in small towns across Alabama? If so, share them with us below!