By Faye Gaston

This is the Historic Preservation Report presented by Faye Gaston at the Union Springs City Council meeting on May 13, 2019.

The theme of the Chunnenuggee Fair in downtown Union Springs on Saturday (May 11, 2019) was the celebration of the 200th birthday of the state of Alabama. A banner at the booth of the Chunnenuggee Garden Club said, "Happy Birthday".

Long before Europeans discovered Alabama, Indian nations including Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw tribes lived here.

European colonizers had a major influence in shaping Alabama. French brothers founded a Mobile settlement at the turn of the 17th century. They introduced one of the biggest celebrations, Mardi Gras. Mobile is the site of the first American Mardi Gras celebration in the early 18th century.

In 1819 Alabama became the 22nd state to join the union of the United States of America.

Seven different flags have flown over Alabama: Spain, France, Great Britain, the U.S.A., the Republic of Alabama, the Confederate States of America and the State of Alabama.

Throughout Alabama's history, as both an independent territory and a state, the site of the capital has shifted five times. Montgomery was chosen as its capital in 1846. The beautiful Greek-Revival Capitol building was completed in 1851.

The highest mountain peak in Alabama is the 2,407 foot Cheaha Mountain.

The largest city in Alabama is Birmingham. In Birmingham, Legion Field is home base for the University of Alabama's football team. Named after the U.S. veterans association, the American Legion, it can hold an audience of over 70,000.

In Birmingham, Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and the biggest statue ever made in America, well over 100,000 pounds.

This information comes from the pictorial history book "Alabama" (written by Claire Leila Philipson).

Some months ago, the local Tourism Council was host to a detailed traveling exhibit in Union Springs of the history of Alabama these 200 years. Union Springs and Bullock County were included.

Happy 200th Birthday, Alabama.

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