Anyone who has lived in Alabama can tell you it’s an awfully interesting state. Our people, nature, structures, and laws are all uniquely their own. Since this land first became a state in 1819, the invisible lines that categorize all of us who live inside them have constantly witnessed magnificently interesting history being made. People who have impacted the world like Helen Keller, Angela Davis, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Hank Aaron, Mia Hamm, and many more first called Alabama home - and that’s just scratching the surface. Here are a few of the most interesting things to know about the nation’s 22nd state. 

Windshield Wipers Were Invented In Alabama

People up North love to make jokes about their Southern countrymen, but it must be noted that much of what we take for granted today came from innovative minds of the South. Without Alabama native Mary Anderson for example, cars would be much harder to drive. When Mary visited New York in 1902 she witnessed drivers having to get out of their cars to clear their car windows and be able to drive again. She returned to Birmingham and designed the windshield wiper patent that continues to benefit millions today.

Alabama Has The Most Snails Of Any US State - By Far

Surely you’ve seen a snail or two during your time in Alabama, but did you know that our state contains more than 40% of all the snails in the country? This shocking statistic sounds too large to be true, but can be attributed to Alabama’s diverse ecosystem that features an abundant amount of rivers and streams. Our state is the fourth most diverse in regard to species diversity, and this is highlighted by the more than 100 types of snails that call Alabama home.

Alabama Was The First State To Recognize Christmas As An Official Holiday

The Christmas holiday season is one of the most looked forward to times of the year for millions in the country. Gifts are given, families gather together, and trees are brought inside to hold fragile spheres. It seems like it’s always been a part of the country’s social fabric, but the United States didn’t make the holiday official until 1870. This came after Alabama's leadership in the category. We made Christmas a recognized holiday in 1836. As we’ve shared in the past Birmingham is also the home of Veteran’s Day

The First 911 Call Was Made In Alabama

911 is a number we all know. It’s put in our brains from the earliest of ages as the number to call in case of an emergency no matter where you are. The concept first became a reality in 1968, and it was a call in Haleyville, Alabama that kicked things off. The first call was a more symbolic gesture between two politicians, but 911 quickly became the national standard for who to contact in case of an emergency.

Alabama Had A Bear Wrestling Problem In The 1990s

Bear wrestling is a largely abandoned sport that sees human challengers take on a bear in a 1-on-1 fight for bragging rights. As one can imagine, the bears were often treated poorly and physically altered to create a more balanced fight. This led to the 90s bear wrestling circuit resurgence finding a home in Alabama, which had not yet created any laws to deter this trend. Bears would be taken into bars to face their opponents before a law against the practice was unanimously approved in 1996.

Cover image from Unsplash