“In October, political advertisements bloom on all the signboards and at the interstate exits. If there is a space, there is a sign. They will stay there long after the elections, in fact until storms batter them down. Candidates are supposed to take them down...but I have yet to see that happen. Half the candidates are too happy to bother; the others are too depressed.”
This past Wednesday a sizeable crowd gathered at the Scottsboro Boys Museum for its grand reopening. The general mood was both expectant and sober, as the many new informative exhibits on display were read and interacted with. This Thursday was a bright and beautiful day, a day when great darkness was exposed to the light. The dignity and legacy of nine young men in a time of tremendous oppression and injustice was remembered and their dignity evoked by the speakers.
The scene is summer, 1966. Vietnam, the fight for civil rights, feminist activism, sexual liberation, and a growing evangelical Christian and conservative disdain for such movements all mark a volatile transition in American society at the time. A vastly increasing teen pop culture was also in full swing amidst this social change. It was through this that one Alabama radio station put itself into the struggle between the deeply Christian status quo and the progressive politics of the time by taking on one of the biggest teenage sensations of modern times: the Beatles.
Beneath the shadows of the towering oak trees in the Old Cloverdale Neighborhood of Montgomery, Alabama, a unique experience lies in the halls of a 1910 Craftsman-style home. The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, stands among other historical homes of the area, but the interior feels as if it has stayed frozen since the two writers occupied the adobe from 1931 until the spring of 1932.
Have you seen a black bear while camping? Or, perhaps you have encountered one while hiking? If you have yet to see a black bear in person, Alabama is great place to spot one of these mammals. Not only do black bears reside here but they are also the state mammal! There are many fascinating facts to be learned about them, including the unfortunate fact that they are a species of highest conservation need in our state.
My husband and I frequently visit Amelia Island, Florida, for a respite from the chaos of our daily lives, and because of our passion for history, we usually include some element of education with each trip. On our most-recent vacation, we visited the usual stops, including historic Fort Clinch. But it was a smaller, out-of-the-way beach that drew our attention most: American Beach, especially after learning if its Alabama connection. After hiking for miles along Black Rock Beach that was formed at the end of the Ice Age and truly transports you to Maui and then through Boneyard Beach that is full of eerie and majestical tree remains from storms past, we drove the short distance to American Beach. It was here that our day was spent, reading historic markers, talking with beach security officers, and researching every new detail that came to life. As my genealogy friends can relate, we hit a true historic rabbit hole.
Alabama Heritage BLOG
At Alabama Heritage, we owe many of our successes and smooth operations to our fabulous student interns. We hope that with this blog--written mostly by our interns as well as history students from UAB and a few from our own editors--our readers will have an opportunity to get to know the students who bring so much to the table with their enthusiasm, hard work, and expertise!
If you're interested in our internship program, check out the details here.