Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Up with U.S. Geography: Alabama

State Name:
Alabama

Capital:
Montgomery

Date of Entry:
December 14, 1819

Maps:
Map of USA. Alabama outlined (poorly) in dark ink.

A close-up of Alabama & its neighbors.

Neighbors:
Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi

Water Borders:
Chattahoochee River, Gulf of Mexico

Total Area:
52,419 square miles

Five Largest Cities:
Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa

Famous Geographical Point:
Dauphin Island

State Nickname:
The Yellowhammer State. Alabama doesn't have an official nickname. Many people, like me, are more familiar with the nickname "The Heart of Dixie," but according to my research, "The Yellowhammer State" has been the unofficial nickname since the Civil War. During that war, soldiers from Alabama wore uniforms trimmed with yellow, which earned them the nickname "yellowhammer," after a type of woodpecker with bright yellow feathers.

Famous Person:
Hank Aaron, Hall of Fame-inducted baseball player

Book Set In/About:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Told through the perspective of his young daughter, a white lawyer in Depression-era small-town Alabama defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.

Movie Set In/About:
"Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991), directed by Jon Avnet

When a middle-aged woman befriends an elderly woman she meets in a nursing home, she begins to find herself & blossom. Her story is intertwined with that of a story told by the elderly woman, about two friends & a murder in 1930sish Alabama.

Headline of the Day:
"Alabama Authorities Hunt Prisoner Still at Large After Peanut Butter Jailbreak" in The Guardian.

Curious but don't have the time/inclination to look up this article? Sadly, it says: "prisoners used peanut butter to change the numbers above a door and trick a new employee into opening another door that led outside." Which I don't think really clarifies anything. An article on boingboing.net sort of helps: "A dozen prisoners at Jasper, Alabama's Walker County Jail escaped on Sunday and one is still at large. One of them used peanut butter to change the number above his cell door and then called for the guard, a new employee, to open it. The number the prisoner changed it to was actually the door to the outside." Bet that guard, if he/she keeps his/her job, will never live that down.

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