Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery is one of the most prominent cities in the United State's modern history. Considered to be the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery is a city that significantly contributed to the history of the United States and helped shape the country into what is known today. 

Geography Of Montgomery 

Montgomery is the capital of the state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. It lies on the southern bank of the Alabama River and has a total area of 155.38 square miles. It is located 220 feet above sea level. Montgomery falls 100 miles away from Birmingham and 190 miles away from Huntsville, Alabama. 

Famous city buildings include 60 Commerce Street, 8 Commerce Street, and most importantly, the Alabama State Capitol and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Another significant landmark is the First White House of the Confederacy. It was the residence of President Jefferson Davis when the city was the capital of the Confederacy, from February till May 1861. 

Alabama state capitol
State Capitol Building in Alabama.

One of the contributors to the city's development is its location along the Alabama River. The river starts at the meeting point of the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, about 6 miles north of Montgomery, reaching a length of 305 miles. It has several locks and dams that played an essential role in the economic development of the city and the state of Alabama. 

Montgomery is located on the black belt, characterized by its highly fertile soil. This made the city the perfect place to plant cotton and tobacco, like in several other South parts. Today, agriculture does not play as crucial a role as it did historically. The city has many parks with natural open spaces, ponds, and lakes. Those parks include Blount Cultural Park, Riverfront Park, Oak Park, and Woodmere Park.

Climate Of Montgomery 

Like most of the south, Montgomery's climate is humid and subtropical. It gets an average of 51 inches of rain annually, which is greater than the national average of 38 inches. In addition, it does not get any snow. It is sunny in Montgomery on 211 days of the year. July is the city's hottest month, where temperatures reach 91.4°F, and January is the coldest month, where temperatures reach an average low of 35.2°F. This makes Montgomery warmer than most places in Alabama. Due to its subtropical nature, the city gets an average of 95 days of precipitation yearly. March is the wettest month, with around 5.5 inches of rain. On the other hand, the driest month is October, and it only gets 2.9 inches of rain. 

Demographics Of Montgomery 

In 2020, the population of Montgomery recorded 200,603 individuals, with 53.1% of them being female and 46.9% being male. The largest age group in the city is individuals below the age of 18, who make up 23.8% of the population. In addition, the median resident age of the city is 35.6 years which is lower than the state median of 39.4 years.

Like other parts of Alabama, Montgomery is not ethnically diverse, with 60.8% of the population being Black or African American. In addition, 31.5% of the population is White, 3.8% is Hispanic, and 3.2% is Asian. Native Americans and other races make up less than 3% of the people of Montgomery. 

40.8% of Montgomery's population has never been married before, 37.7% are currently married, 13.7% are divorced, and 4.8% are widowed.

As for the level of education, 89.1% of adult citizens hold a High school diploma, 34.6% hold a bachelor's degree, and 14.7% have a graduate or professional degree. 

History Of Montgomery 

Montgomery, Alabama
Alabama state capital in Montgomery.

The area where Montgomery is located was a Native trade route that connected local Creek Indians to other parts of the state. By 1814, European settlers had taken over the area and worked on creating and managing cotton plantations. With technological development and increased demand for cotton, the city became one of the region's highest cotton producers. It was then given the state's seat of government and became the Confederate capital. In 1866, the first electric streetcar system was placed there, and it was the first of its kind. This made Montgomery a significant city with a large economy. 

Montgomery played an essential role during the Civil Rights Movement and other movements against racism, where it witnessed the bus boycott and the Selma to Montgomery March. The first spark of change started when Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her bus seat for a white man in 1955. Her case led to a year of protest led by men like Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, and Edgar Nixon. In 1956, the bus system was no longer segregated due to the restless protests. In 1965, Montgomery played a significant part in the Selma to Montgomery March led by Martin Luther King, which aimed at achieving equal voting rights for all races. After Martin Luther King's famous speech in Montgomery, the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, creating more equality in the United States. 

Economy Of Montgomery

Montgomery has a broad and diverse economy and workforce. The income of an individual living in Montgomery is around $24,537 per year, which is less than the national average of $28,555. The median household income is $48,011 annually, which is also lower than the national average of $53,482. Males in the city make 1.44 times more than females, which explains why females between 25 and 34 are the largest group living in poverty. In addition, the second largest group living in poverty is females aged 18 to 24. Moreover, the most common race living below the poverty line is the African American community, followed by the white and then the Hispanic community.

Montgomery's economy employs more than 88 thousand individuals, and its unemployment rate is 5.8%. Its economy is based on several sectors, some of the largest ones being the health care sector which employs around 22% of the workforce. The Manufacturing industry employs approximately 12% of the workforce, and the retail trade sector employs about 12% of the workforce. The jobs with the highest pay are in the architecture and engineering field, the computer and mathematics field, and finally, the Legal field. 

The city is known for its manufacturing and production. The number one manufacturing is motorized vehicles. That is primarily due to Hyundai's facility that produces more than five car models in Montgomery, Alabama.

Attractions In Montgomery 

Montgomery, Alabama
Statue of Hank Williams, the famous country singer in Montgomery. Editorial credit: JNix / Shutterstock.com

Montgomery is unique because it has delicious local southern restaurants, rich historical sites, and many tourist attractions. The city's rich history is documented for everyone to see in many museums such as Legacy Museum, Civil Rights Memorial, Alabama State Archives and History Museum, First White House of the Confederacy, and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. The Museum of Fine Arts and the Old Alabama Town are the perfect destinations for visitors interested in art. 

For a fascinating outdoors experience, the Montgomery Zoo is the perfect destination for families and children to spend the day learning about animals and experiencing them first-hand. The Alabama Safari Park is the ideal day to spend the day amongst the wildlife.

Montgomery riverfront
The waterfront in Montgomery. Editorial credit: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Montgomery is a rich southern city with fantastic food and fascinating attractions. The perfect sunny weather makes it an ideal tourist destination for art and history lovers and families. The town was put on the map due to its contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and other movements that made the United States an equal nation. 

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