Year of Alabama History



August 2, 1819



















August 3, 1936










August 5, 1864









August 5, 1917









August 7, 1882












August 7, 1946









August 8, 1922











Original 1819 Constitution

This Week in Alabama History

August 2 - August 8




Featured Event:

The first Alabama constitution is adopted, paving the way to statehood in December. Known today as the Constitution of 1819, to distinguish it from five subsequent constitutions, it was considered a model of democracy at the time. It granted, for example, suffrage to all adult white males without regard to property ownership or other qualifications.


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

Other Events this Week

Lawrence County native Jesse Owens wins his first gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Owens went on to win four gold medals in Berlin, but German leader Adolf Hitler snubbed the star athlete because he was black. Today visitors can learn more about Owens at the Jesse Owens Memorial Park and Museum in Oakville, Alabama.


The Battle of Mobile Bay begins. U.S. Admiral David Farragut, with a force of fourteen wooden ships, four ironclads, 2,700 men, and 197 guns, overpowered Confederate defenses guarding the approach to Mobile Bay. Farragut's victory removed Mobile as a center of blockade-running and freed Union troops for service in Virginia.


Members of the Alabama National Guard Brigade, which had been federalized in 1916, are discharged from guard service so that they can be drafted into the regular army. Once drafted, the guardsmen were assigned to their former units, and one of these, the 4th Alabama, would become the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment and serve with distinction in France during World War I as a part of the famed 42nd "Rainbow" Division.


Isaac “Honest Ike” Vincent is elected to an unprecedented third term as State Treasurer. Thanking the Democratic Convention that had nominated him two months earlier, Vincent promised that he would “endeavor in the future, as I have in the past, to guard and advance your interests as faithfully as I would my own.” January 31, 1883, Gov. Edward A. O’Neal reported to the Legislature that Treasurer Vincent had absconded from office and that state funds totaling more than $200,000 were missing.


Lt. Gen. Holland "Howlin' Mad" Smith retires from the Marines after a forty-year career. A veteran of World Wars I and II, the Russell County native became known as "the father of amphibious warfare," and was honored for his years of service by being retired as a full general.


Hattie Hooker Wilkins of Selma becomes the first woman to win a seat in the Alabama legislature. One of three Alabama women to run for legislative office that year, Wilkins was the only successful candidate, beating out incumbent J. W. Green for a seat in the House of Representatives. Wilkins served only one term, choosing not to run for re-election in 1926.