I am a sucker for a good collection of fun facts, so I'm introducing my new "Know-It-All" series: random collections of fascinating factoids and trivia-worthy tidbits. Some collections may be themed, if I'm feeling fancy, but most will be "huh, good to know" goodies.
Learn up, know-it-alls!
The word “Alabama” could be derived from two Choctaw words, “Alba” meaning plants or vegetation, and “Amo” meaning to clear or gather. Alabama: the clearers of the thicket.
Alabama’s state insect is the Monarch Butterfly.
The first rocket to successfully place man on the moon, Saturn V launching Apollo 11, was constructed by Alabamians.
In Montgomery in 1902, Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performed the Western Hemisphere’s very first open heart surgery when he sutured a young boy after being stabbed in the heart.
Mobile, Alabama is named after the Mauvilla, the now mysteriously vanished Native American tribe.
The town of Prices, in Calhoun County, used to be known as the town of Savages. Both are local family names. Prices just comes off better to passersby.
The meteorite that fell in 1954 on Sylacauga, Alabama and bruised Ann Hodges is the only meteorite known throughout history to have struck a person.
A chemistry professor once introduced squirrels to the once squirrel-free University of Montevallo ecosystem, and they have since become an epidemic.
During the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut issued his famous command, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
The founder of Mobile, Alabama and most other major cities along the Gulf Coast, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, was tattooed in a full suit of serpents by the Mauvilla Native Americans to gain their respect and trade partnership.