Alabama Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

The state of Alabama became the 22nd state in the United States, and a lot has happened since then. Learn about Alabama's symbols, its history from before the Civil War until now, and what makes this state a unique place to be.

Alabama at a Glance

They don't call it 'Sweet Home Alabama' for nothing! 4.8 million Americans call this Southern state home, making it the 23rd most populous state in the United States. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery, but the largest city is Birmingham. Montgomery is also the birthplace of the Confederate States of America, which were the group of states that fought for the South during the Civil War. The state of Alabama borders Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. One of America's best kept secrets is how beautiful the Alabama beaches are, with their crystal blue waters and white sandy shores. Alabama is also part of the 'Bible Belt', a region of the U.S. where there are many Protestant churches.

Symbols of Alabama

The state bird of Alabama, the yellowhammer

Every state has different symbols that are representative of the history, population or other unique features of the state. In Alabama, one of these symbols is the state flag. The flag design is very simple; it has a white background and an 'x' of two red strips that must be six inches wide. The Alabama state flag was created in 1895, and was patterned from the Confederate Battle Flag.

Other Alabama symbols include the Monarch butterfly (state bug), pecan (state nut), Southern longleaf pine (state tree), camellia (state flower) and the yellowhammer (state bird). Alabama's nicknames are the 'Heart of Dixie' and 'Yellowhammer State' after their deep Southern roots and their state bird. The Yellowhammer has a special place at the University of Alabama - it's a keyword in their fight song, 'Rammer Jammer.'

History of Alabama

A plantation home in Alabama

The land that we now know as the state of Alabama has been inhabited for thousands of years, beginning with several different Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw. The women in these tribes were best known for their porcupine roaches, which are headdresses made out of porcupine quills.

Alabama became the 22nd state on December 14, 1819. During the Antebellum period, which is the time after the War of 1812 and before the Civil War, wealthy families created and lived on large cotton plantations. These beautiful farms depended on the labor of the thousands of Black slaves who were sold to the plantation owners. By 1860, slaves made up 45% of the population until slavery became illegal after the Civil War. The racial tensions in Alabama continued all the way through the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Alabama was where many major Civil Rights demonstrations took place, such as the Rosa Parks Bus Boycott, Selma to Montgomery marches and some of Martin Luther King's speeches.

What Makes Alabama Unique?

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