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Mobile, Alabama
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Town Nicknames: City Of Five Flags, City Of Six Flags, Gulf City, Picnic City, Port City


The settlement was first established in 1702, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the capital of the French colony of Louisiana. It was relocated downriver to its present location near the head of Mobile Bay in 1711. Mobile was transferred to the British in 1763 as a result of the Treaty of Paris and was captured by the Spanish in 1780. The Spanish held Mobile until 1814 when it was captured by the American General Wilkinson; by then it was the second largest seaport on the Gulf Coast.

One incident of some historical interest occurred in 1860, when the Clotilde, the last known ship to arrive in the Americas with a cargo of slaves, was abandoned by its captain near Mobile. A number of the slaves escaped and formed their own community on the banks of the Mobile River, which became known as Africatown. The inhabitants of this community retained their African customs and language well into the 20th century.

Mobile grew substantially in the period leading up to the American Civil War when it was heavily fortified and held by the Confederates. Union naval forces established a blockade under the command of Admiral David Farragut. Farragut did not attack the city until August 1864. The ensuing Battle of Mobile Bay was a Union victory but the city held out for another nine months. During the later federal occupation of the city, in May, 1865, an ammunition depot explostion -- called the great Mobile magazine explosion -- killed some 300 people.

After the war the harbour was substantially improved and deepened, and ship-building became a notable industry.

Four members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were born in Mobile: Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and Ozzie Smith.

- Wikipedia


The settlement, then called "Fort Louis de la Louisiane", was first established in 1702, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the first capital of the French colony of Louisiana. Following a series of floods, the town was relocated downriver to its present location near the head of Mobile Bay in 1711 and named Fort Conde. The capital of Louisiana was moved to Biloxi in 1720 and to New Orleans in 1723 and Mobile was relegated to the role of frontier town and trading post.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the French and Indian War. The treaty ceded Mobile to Great Britain and under British rule the colony flourished. The British renamed the city Fort Charlotte, after the English Queen, and reenergized the port. Major exports included timber, naval stores, indigo, hides, rice, pecans and cattle.

The immediate British enforcement of race codes threw the denizens of the French-derived culture into chaos. The French Creole world was noted for its laissez-faire attitude to racial matters and the stringent English codes chased some of Mobile's Creole residents westward into Louisiana.

The Spanish captured the port town in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War. The Spanish held Mobile until 1813 when it was captured by the American General Wilkinson; by then it was the second largest seaport on the Gulf Coast.

The Cotton Boom of the early 19th century brought an explosion of commerce to what had been a sleepy frontier town. By the 1850s, Mobile was one of the 4 busiest ports in the United States. The wealth created by this trade brought the city to a cultural high point. Mobile became well known throughout the country and the world.

In another note of differentiation between the somewhat cosmopolitan port and the hinterlands of predominantly Protestant Alabama, Mobile was declared an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in this same period. In 1830, the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church founded Spring Hill College, one of the oldest Catholic schools in the country.

In 1860, Clotilde, the last known ship to arrive in the Americas with a cargo of slaves, was abandoned by its captain near Mobile. A number of the slaves escaped and formed their own community on the banks of the Mobile River, which became known as Africatown. The inhabitants of this community retained their African customs and language well into the 20th century.

Mobile grew substantially in the period leading up to the American Civil War when the Confederates heavily fortified it. Union naval forces established a blockade under the command of Admiral David Farragut. The Confederates countered the blockade by constructing blockade-runners; fast, shallow-draft, low-slung ships that could either out-run or evade the blockaders, maintaining a trickle of trade in and out of Mobile. Also, the C.S.S. Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel in combat, was built and tested in Mobile.

In August, 1864 Farraguts ships fought their way past the two forts (Gaines and Morgan) guarding the mouth of Mobile Bay and defeated a small force of Confederate gunboats and one ironclad, the C.S.S. Tennessee, in the famous "Battle of Mobile Bay". It is here that Farragut is alleged to have uttered his famous "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" quote. The city of Mobile later surrendered to the Union army in order to avoid destruction. Ironically, in May 1865, an ammunition depot explosion -- called the great Mobile magazine explosion -- killed some 300 people and destroyed a significant portion of the city.

After the war, the harbor was substantially improved and deepened, and ship-building became a notable industry. However, the city, once a world-famous cultural center, languished as a result of "Reconstruction" and the general economic decline of the South.

The military buildup prior to and during World War II resulted in a massive increase in population. Shipyards were churning out vessels for the war effort and in 1938 the U.S. Army bought the municipal airport (Bates Field was relocated about 10 miles west of the city and is now known as Mobile Regional Airport) and there developed the Brookley Army Air Field, later, Brookley Air Force Base. Brookley quickly became the area's largest employer. In the mid-1960s the Air Force Base was closed due to a Department of Defence "base realignment" and the airport returned to the city. Today, it is known as Mobile Downtown Airport.

During the war, the phenomenal influx of workers created a huge housing shortage. Citizens rented out extra rooms and also converted porches, garages and even chicken coops into rentals. Several federal housing projects were quickly built to house the new maritime and Air Force workers. Several of these are still to be found, notably the community of Birdville.

By 1956, Mobile's square mileage had tripled to accommodate the growth. Brookley's closure in the mid-1960s sent economic tremors through the area which took many years to absorb.

Also, in the post-war period, the pulp and paper industry became a major industry in Mobile. Scott Paper Company and International Paper combined to have one the areas largest workforces. However; the demise of these industries within the last decade also hurt the local economy. On the other hand, during the last 15 years, the chemical, oil and gas, tourism, maritime and aerospace industries have expanded significantly and provided a much needed economic boost.

In 1964, the University of South Alabama opened its doors and its tremendous impact on the community and economy was deeply felt in a variety of sectors. The University operates several hospitals and has a noted Medical School.

Mobile's seafood industry rose to a position of note for a while, with Mobile Bay oysters acclaimed far and wide, but this waned almost to the point of extinction in the last quarter of the 20th century. A few shrimpers still hang on in the South Mobile County fishing village of Bayou La Batre, immortalized in the book and film Forrest Gump, but their future appears uncertain.

Four members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were born in Mobile: Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and Ozzie Smith. Notable yearly activities that take place in Mobile include the Senior Bowl, Mardi Gras (the oldest in the country), the GMAC Bowl, the Azalea Trail Run, and the Junior Miss Pageant. In addition, the Mobile BayBears baseball team play in the Double A Southern League.

The eastern shore of Mobile Bay periodically experiences an unusual phenomenon called a Jubilee. A jubilee, which usually takes place in the wee hours of warm nights, describes a massive upsurge of sea life from the bottom of the bay. This phenomenon has also been observed in a similar bay in Japan and is believed to be caused by low oxygen levels in the water. This upsurge to the surface usually consists of crabs, shrimp, flounder and other sea delicacies. Needless to say, a jubilee, when first realized, is quickly spread by word of mouth along the coast, providing an impromptu fishing party in the middle of the night.

On 10 November 1993 the city formally twinned with the Japanese city of Ichihara, Chiba prefecture.

Mobile and its suburbs suffered considerable damage when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Most of the city survived relatively intact compared to New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, but the high winds and flooding destroyed homes in coastal areas and damaged some parts of the downtown area, and at least two people died in hurricane-related car accidents. - Wikipedia


Mobile, Alabama is mentioned in the following songs:

"Stuck Inside Of Mobile (With The Memphis Blues Again)" by Bob Dylan
"Guitar Man" by singer/songwriter Jerry Reed
"Mobile Boogie" by Hank Williams, Jr.
"Twenty-Nine Miles From Mobile" by Charlie Daniels
"I Luv It" by Mr. Serv-On
"Stars on the Water" written by Rodney Crowell, later performed by Jimmy Buffett
"Saxophones" by Jimmy Buffett
"Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" by Cher
"Jump On It" (Remix) by Sir-Mix-A-Lot
"Mobile Bay" Johnny Cash
"Stars Fell on Alabama" as performed by Jimmy Buffett
"Let It Roll (Let It Rock)" by Mel McDaniel
"Hard Luck Story" by Whiskeytown

Mobile ranks 3rd on the list of cities that have produced the most members of the Baseball Hall of Fame (5, Hank Aaron, Billy Williams, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige, and Ozzie Smith). New York City and Chicago are first and second, respectively.

The local pop band, The Ugli Stick, performs a song written by lead singer Eric Erdmann, called "The D.I.P. Song" which references his blue collar neighborhood in Mobile.

Several people migrated from Mobile to an area in Arizona which was then named "Mobile". It was founded in the early 1900s as an area for African-Americans to live and some of its early residents were sharecroppers from Mobile, Alabama.

Mobile elected its first black mayor, Sam Jones, in 2005.

The Red Imported Fire Ants infesting the Southern U.S actually arrived here from Brazil.

The Regional Football League had one football season before going bankrupt, its champion for the year was the Mobile-based Admirals, which was the only franchise in the league which did not default - Wikipedia


A band called "Ray Davis and the Hot Times" is suppossed to have played on the first radio station in Mobile at the Battle House called WDOX before WW2 - L.R. Davis

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