Montgomery, AL: A City That Is On the Move Into the Future
Reginald Dominique | 11/22/2017, 12:10 p.m.
Welcome to Montgomery, Alabama, the “Capital of Dreams.” Serving as the capital of Alabama, Montgomery was once the capital of the Confederacy States of America when Jefferson Davis was sworn in at the steps of the capitol building as the president of the CSA on February 4, 1861. That was the beginning of Alabama’s long lasting American history that still prevails in the south until this day. From the welcoming citizens and good food to the rolling hills and its historic past, there is no denying that this cool capital cool city is definitely worth a visit. Join me as I take the challenge and discover a new destination, the new Montgomery!
At 200 years old, Montgomery is known for being the birthplace of the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement; however, the city is also older than the state of Alabama itself. History says that Andrew Dexter, Jr. founded ‘New Philadelphia’, which is the present day eastern part of downtown. With the thought that his town would one day grow in popularity, Dexter set aside a hilltop known as "Goat Hill" as the future location for the state capitol building. New Philadelphia indeed prospered and General John Scott with his group of first settlers built a new town adjacent calling it East Alabama Town. The towns became rivals, but merged on December 3, 1819, and were incorporated as the city of Montgomery. The new city was named for General Richard Montgomery. The legacy of the towns' merger still can be seen today in the alignment of downtown streets where Court Street and Dexter Avenue meet.
The Civil War
The state of Alabama was central to the Civil War, with the secession convention at Montgomery, birthplace of the Confederacy, inviting other states to form the Southern Republic, during 1861, and develop constitutions to legally run their own affairs. Emerging from its agricultural roots in the 19th century, Montgomery transformed from the Cradle of the Confederacy to the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement in less than a century. Two months after Jefferson Davis took his oath of office on the steps of the capitol building he sent a telegram from the Winter Building on April 11, 1861, to authorize his general to fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston S.C. That was the official start of the Civil War.
The Civil Rights Movement
Nearly 90 years after the start of the Civil War in Montgomery, the city found itself yet again at the center of attention in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to “move to the back of the bus,” sparking the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. There is no denying that Alabama was the site of some of the most defining events of the civil rights era, transforming the state and profoundly changing America. And to think, it all began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. What was supposed to only be one day of boycotting, nearly 30,000 African Americans participated in the bus boycott lasting for 13 months.