Sweet Home Alabama is a song that most readers will probably know by heart. It is an anthem to Alabama and the South in a way that only those who love their home can write. And throughout the years, the song has become what most people think about when thinking about Alabama. Yet, there is a lot to love about the Yellowhammer State.
Here are just seven of the amazing facts about Alabama and the role it has played in United States history. And there might be a sweet home in Alabama for you too.
Alabama was the first state to legally recognize Christmas.
Nowadays, it seems almost expected that Christmas is celebrated by everyone. Besides the few workers who don’t get Christmas off, most people can expect to spend the 25th of December with their families over a Christmas dinner. It seems weird that there was ever a time when a law had to be passed to legally recognize Christmas.
However, the first state to legally recognize Christmas as a holiday was Alabama, which in 1836 gave people the ability to take off work without repercussions to be with their families during Christmastime. It took the federal government nearly a quarter of a century to follow suit. So every kid who dreams of Santa on Christmas Eve can thank Alabama for their parents being there to celebrate the season with them.
Alabama is where the first rocket to land on the moon was designed.
While not where the first rocket was designed—that honor goes to China in the second century B.C.—Alabama is where NASA designed the rocket that would eventually take Neil Armstrong and his team to the moon. The Saturn V rocket, as it came to be known, was created in Huntsville, AL, where it went on to propel the Apollo 11 crew to the moon.
Huntsville is now known as the Rocket Capital of the World and is home to the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, where young scientists still research how to improve space travel technology.
Alabama is home to the Tree That Owns Itself.
In Athens, AL, there is a tree that owns itself. In 1890, there was a beloved French military officer who gifted the tree the land on which it stood and all the land within eight feet of its trunk so that no one may harm his beloved tree. It has become a tradition in Athens to take care of that tree and ensure no one tries to take the land away from it.
However, this seems to be an inheritable deed as the original tree, a 400-year-old great oak, fell during a windstorm in 1942. Not wanting the tradition to die, many women began growing the acorns of the great oak. They finally ended up replanting it with one of its children in 1946. This now eighty-year-old white oak tree stands as the new tree that owns itself.
Alabama was where the first 911 call took place.
As phones became more common, the United States government recognized the need for a universal number for emergencies. They partnered with the natural monopoly on phone lines at the time, AT&T, and agreed on the number 911.
The first emergency phone was installed in Haleyville, AL. Their local police station installed a red phone to take any call directed to a 911 number. This red phone is still on display even to this day.
At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 16, 1968, the first 911 call was placed from the mayor’s office to both test the system and announce it to the world.
From then on, the number 911 and emergencies have been linked. Most kids, before they can read, know how to dial 911, and it all started in Haleyville, AL.
Alabama is where Rosa Parks was born.
Rosa Parks, the eventual civil rights leader who was made famous by her arrest that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, AL. She now has a museum and memorial in Montgomery, AL, honoring her legacy and her pivotal role in the fight for civil rights.
Alabama has the lowest state property tax In the mainland United States.
Behind only Hawaii, Alabama has the lowest property tax in the entire United States. And in contrast to the over half a million dollar property costs of the Aloha State, Alabama’s average home rate is only around $200,000. Combined with the exceptional weather and southern hospitality, Alabama makes for a great retirement home.
Alabama is the most religious state.
Of course, the holy number seven had to be about the religious values of Alabama. Alabama edges out Mississippi in being the most religious state, though both boast an impressive 77% of their population that are ranked as highly religious by PEW research.
Alabama, however, has a religious demographic of about 86% Christian, with 12% unaffiliated, and the rest belong to other religious organizations. However, PEW recognizes that not all 86% are religious and merely identify as Christian.
Making Your Own Sweet Home Alabama
Alabama is a great place to set down roots, either temporarily or for a long time. With traditions like the tree that owns itself or heroes like Rosa Parks, Alabama stands as a great place to make your home whether you plan to set down roots or with eventual plans to take off.
With one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, Alabama is an incredibly affordable place to make your home.
And if you happen to need help moving, StoreEase has you covered. StoreEase has smarter storage. With smart units and fast login times, you can have a self-storage unit in two minutes and begin moving your stuff in a blink of an eye.
When it comes to moving, self-storage is becoming an incredibly popular option so your house isn’t swamped with boxes. It is cheap, secure, and stress-free, which is a huge relief when everything else about moving can be a hassle. StoreEase has incredible resources to help like storage tips, FAQs, and more.