Year of Alabama History



March 3, 1817











March 2, 1901














March 2, 1961










March 4, 1861








March 7, 1965







Alabama Territory

This Week in Alabama History

March 1 - 7




Featured Event:

The Alabama Territory is created when Congress passes the enabling act allowing the division of the Mississippi Territory and the admission of Mississippi into the union as a state. Alabama would remain a territory for over two years before becoming the 22nd state in December 1819.



Other Events this Week

Trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History meet in Gov. William J. Samford's office to organize the nation's first state archival agency. Charged with, among other responsibilities, "the care and custody of official archives [and] the collection of materials bearing upon the history of the State," the department was housed in the capitol until 1940. In that year it moved across Washington Avenue to the War Memorial Building, which had been constructed for the Archives.



Alabama native Luther Leonidas Terry begins serving as U.S. Surgeon General under President John F. Kennedy. Terry was born in Red Level in 1911 and graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1931. As Surgeon General he issued a landmark report on smoking and health that raised awareness among policymakers and the public about the dangers of smoking. Terry served until October 1, 1965.


The first Confederate flag is raised over the Alabama Capitol at 3:30 PM by Letita Tyler, granddaughter of former U.S. president John Tyler. The flag, which flew on a flagpole by the capitol clock, was not the Confederate battle flag, but the "First National Pattern," also known as the stars and bars.



Six-hundred demonstrators make the first of three attempts to march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery to demand removal of voting restrictions on black Americans. Attacked by state and local law enforcement officers as they crossed Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, the marchers fled back into the city. The dramatic scene was captured on camera and broadcast across the nation later that Sunday, causing a surge of support for the protestors.


Listen: Click the play button below to hear Archives Staff discuss this event on Alabama Public Radio.