Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama. It is located in the south central part of the state. Montgomery includes one hundred fifty five square miles and has a population of 203,000. It is the second most populated city in the state.
Montgomery was originally laid out as two different towns along a river. Their close proximity and growing sizes caused them to merge as one. Montgomery was incorporated in 1819 when Alabama was admitted into the Union. Montgomery continued to grow and thrive over the next century. The Civil War left the city virtually unharmed and by 1886, Montgomery had installed the first city-wide electric street cars in the country.
During the 1960s, Montgomery was the site of many civil rights demonstrations involving Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Montgomery was also the site where Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, which led to a 382 day bus boycott in the city. Montgomery’s prominence in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s is the basis of some of the city’s popular attractions today. The Rosa Parks Library, Museum and Children’s Wing depicts the famous bus scene with a full-sized replica of the bus Rosa Parks rode on and is home to several interactive exhibits, historical documents, and television footage from the boycott. The Civil Rights Memorial Center is a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s.
Country music can trace its roots back to Montgomery, Alabama. The city was the birthplace of Hank Williams, one of the most revered country music artists of all time. There are three sites around the city dedicated to preserving his memory. The Hank Williams Museum is where many of his personal belonging are on display, including the car in which he died. The old city auditorium in Montgomery was the site of many of Hank William’s concerts as well as his funeral. There is a life-sized statute of Williams across from the auditorium. Also, in the Oakwood Cemetery, where Hank Williams is buried, another memorial has been erected in his honor. Each January 1, a memorial service is performed at the cemetery, courtesy of the museum.
Montgomery hosts several annual festivals and events throughout the year. The Alabama Book Festival features many nationally recognized writers, book appraisers, publishers, and illustrators. February in Montgomery is dedicated to Black History Month, which is a four week event recounting the historic events that occurred in the city. The Jubilee CityFest is a city-wide event that kicks off Memorial Day weekend. The festival is filled with all kinds of music, vendors, food, fireworks, and family activities. Broadway Under The Stars is produced by the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra each fall. It features popular Broadway music and show tunes underneath the stars at the local Blount Cultural Park. Christmas time in Montgomery is filled with dance and theater performances. The Montgomery Ballet conducts traditional holiday productions such as The Nutcracker. The city is transformed into a winter wonderland for the annual Holiday Parade.