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Information and pictures about the state of Alabama, its population, geography, link to the governor's web page, state facts, Dixie, map of USA. MCHS Future Business Leaders of America, Madison County Board of Education links...
Created in March 1998
A view of Madison County in Alabama
Slideshow of the US War Reenactment in Gurley - July 1999
The territory of Alabama was named for the Alabama River, which was named for the Alibamo tribe of Choctaw Indians. The word comes from alba, "a thick mass of vegetation", and amo, "to clear, to collect, to gather up."
Alabama earned the name "Heart of Dixie" because of the $10 notes issued in Louisiana before the Civil War. The notes bore the word "dix", (French for ten). Eventually, the South became "Dixie Land". Since Alabama was the first capital of the South during the Civil War, the state became known as the "Heart of Dixie".
Alabama ranks 22 with a population of 4,186,806 (in 1995), and a density of 81.2 inhabitants per square mile. The average annual temperature for the state for the winter is 46 and for the summer 79. Snow seldom falls in South Alabama; in North Alabama snow is quite common but seldom heavy . In the summer, the temperature is moderated by the elevation in the northern districts and by the winds from the Gulf of Mexico in the southern part.
Today, Alabama has an area of 52,423 square miles, including 549 square miles of inland water. Its greatest length is 335 miles, and its greatest width, 220 miles. Alabama ranks twenty-ninth in size among all the states and fifth among all the Southern states. Modern Alabama is divided into 67 counties. To the east lies the state of Georgia, to the north Tennessee, and to the west lies Mississippi (of which Alabama was once part). To the south lie the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.
The French tradition of Mardi Gras, celebrated every year in Mobile, Alabama, is a reminder of the French culture in Alabama. French place names such as Dauphin Island, and many street names in Mobile are also reminders of a diverse cultural heritage.
In the early 1800s, after Napoleon's defeat, several French military officers and political leaders escaped to Alabama. They founded the "Vine and Olive Colony", hoping to settle and grow grapes and olives like in France, but were unsuccessful. Most of them moved to cities and carried their genteel ideas and ways with them, adding a new flavor to the Alabama culture. Some of the speech and accents of Alabamians today reflect a blending of words of French origin with those of other cultures...
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