About Montgomery

Montgomery, the capitol city of Alabama is built on a diverse economic base of industry, State Government, military, and higher education.Montgomery Alabama is a place where the Old South with all its history and charm, blends with the dynamic New South, bursting at the seams with excitement and enthusiasm.

Montgomery sits in the central part of the state, about 90 miles south of Birmingham and 170 miles northeast of Mobile. Montgomery covers a land area of 402 sq km (155 sq mi), with a mean elevation of 49 m (160 ft). Montgomery is the primary city of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2000 population of 346,528. In February 1861, Montgomery was selected as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, until the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia in May of that year.

In 1846, the capital was permanently located at Montgomery, the legislature likely finding it an ideal location from which to run the state, due to adequate amenities and travel. In 1886 Montgomery became the first city in the United States to install city-wide electric street cars along a system that was nicknamed the Lightning Route. In more recent history, Montgomery has begun to recover from its economic problems of the 20th century.

During the mid-20th century, Mongtomery was a primary site in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches. The Montgomery area was originally heavily populated by the Alibamu tribe of Native Americans (after which the state is named). Incorporated in 1819 when Alabama was admitted to the Union, the new city was named for General Richard Montgomery, who died in the American Revolutionary War attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada. From the Civil War to Civil Rights and new visions for tomorrow, Montgomery is steeped in history, tested by rebellion and always courageous and changing.

Recently, Montgomery has been focusing on further improving local schools. Also, Montgomery is home to a Fine Arts Museum and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the fifth largest Shakespearean venue in the world. There is a rich history of musical performers with roots in Montgomery. Jazz singer and pianist Nat King Cole, country singer Hank Williams, blues singer Big Mama Thornton, Melvin Franklin of The Temptations, and guitarist Tommy Shaw of Styx are among the many musicians to get their start in Montgomery.

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