The first capital city of the Confederacy and an important link
on the famous Cotton Belt, Montgomery is today more
widely known for his role as the unwitting host of the historic
Civil rights marches, inspired by a local seamstress, Rosa
Parks, who was too tired to give up her seat on the bus on her way
home from work one day in December 1955. His calm
The challenge attracted the admiration of the popular of the city.
preacher, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who emerged in the
local and national scene when he organized the famous
The Montgomery bus boycott, which ignited national politics
Rights movement. Located in the center of the south bank of the
Alabama River, this capital city is emblematic of the historic
collides with his role in the War Between the States of 1860
and their involuntary participation in the civil rights movement 100
years later. Within a city block, the remains of these
historical events compete in their respective
structures, memorials, monuments and
museum exhibits.

Things to see in Montgomery:

o State Capitol

This 1850 Greek Renaissance Capitol is famous for two events:
First, in February 1861 on the front porch, the new south
The Confederacy inaugurated Jefferson Davis as president
of the Confederate States. The second event that takes place on
the same place 104 years later, March 1965, Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. ended his Selma-to-Montgomery Civil
March for rights. Beyond this historic portico, the doors open to
a large foyer flanked by a pair of white spiral staircases
snuggling up on three floors. The pink and gold of the Capitol
The neoclassical rotunda features a glorious stained glass window
skylight. Eight large murals designed in the late 1920s by
Alabama artist Roderick MacKenzie decorates the walls. Tea
The murals show scenes from Alabama history, such as the
arrival of deSoto, the French settlement, first pioneers,
pre-war life, the Confederacy, and trade

Check it out. . . The original “Governor’s Suite” and the
“Secretary of State Suite”, in the reservation of the first floor
furniture and documents from the period
1870-1880, which presents a tactile glimpse into the past.

Check it out. . . On the Capitol grounds, 50 masts wave a
flag of each state on a semicircular gateway called the
“Walk of the States”. Under each flag there is a stone
nameplate: donated by each state from material
native to its land. Some of the stones are
semi-precious, like New Mexico turquoise.

o Museum of History and State Archives

Founded in 1901 the Alabama Department of Archives and
History was the nation’s first state archives agency. Tea
museum, housed in a beautiful turn-of-the-century building
With marble walls and gray Tennessee stairs and
Alabama White Marble, Shows Related Changing Exhibits
to Alabama history, including interpretive practice
galleries. Of particular interest is the 19th century gallery in the
second floor with unusual items such as human hair
jewelry made by Mrs. Jefferson Davis, pre-war quilts,
and the Alabama State Bible. A room dedicated to training
Vice President William Rufus King is also in the second
ground. King, a native of North Carolina, was born on April 7, 1786
and at the age of 29 he served as North Carolina
representative in the United States Congress. He resigned on
November 1816 to accept a position in Russia. When the
He returned, fell ill and went to Cuba to recover. On
1819 moved to Alabama and when Alabama became a
been in December of that year, he was chosen to represent
the new state in the United States Senate, and re-elected three more
times before being appointed minister to France in 1844. He
was re-elected to the United States Senate in 1848, but resigned in
1853 to serve as vice president under Franklin Pierce. Hey
He was sworn in on March 4, 1853 but died shortly thereafter,
on April 18, 1853. The room dedicated to William Rufus
King displays some of his personal clothes, furniture,
porcelain and silver, and other items he collected from his
foreign positions. It also displays documents that reveal
fascinating things about this relatively unknown politics
figure and the time in which he lived.

o First White House of the Confederacy

A simple and unpretentious home, the First White House of
the Confederacy was the makeshift executive mansion
donated by a local merchant and quickly established to
serve as temporary accommodation for the newly elected
President Jefferson Davis and his family who lived there
three months before the Confederate capital moved to
Richmond. Conveniently located across the street from the
State Capitol, the White House of the Confederacy allows
self-guided tours. All first and second floor rooms
they are open to visitors. Period furniture, personal items
belonging to the Davis family, photographs and documents
present a deep insight into the early days of the Civil War,
prominent leader of the South and his personal struggles.

o Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Began his ministry at Dexter
Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, which served as
site of the 1956 bus boycott. A large mural in the
The church basement represents influential people and
landmark events of the 1950s civil rights movement
until the 1970s. A short film complements the mural.

o Monument to Civil Rights

Just outside the South Poverty Lawyers Office, Kitty’s Corner for
the State Capitol and one block from Dexter Avenue King
Memorial Baptist Church, is the impressive The Civil Rights
Memorial, designed by sculptor Maya Y. Lin, who also
designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC,
and dedicated on November 5, 1989. Recorded in a round
smooth black granite altar is a chronology of civilization
Rights events and the names of 80 martyrs who died in the
fight for racial equality. Water bubbling from the altar
The center flows over the clock beyond Martin’s words.
Luther King (paraphrasing the Bible), “Until justice comes
like water and justice like a mighty stream. ”
beautiful and moving memorial.

o Jasmine Hill Gardens and Open Air Museum

The Olympic Center, with a replica of the Greek
Temple of Hera, is the centerpiece of this 20 acre flower
garden on fire all year round.

o Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Located in the expansive green gardens of Wynton M. Blount
Nationally acclaimed Cultural Park, Alabama
The Shakespeare Festival is the fifth largest in the world.
Presenting classic and contemporary productions,
also offers educational programs throughout the year. Alabama
The Museum of Fine Arts is also located on the grounds. With its acres
of ponds, gardens, museums and theaters, the Wynton M.
Blount Cultural Park is the ideal place for art and nature.

o Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum

Located in the modest house where the Fitzgeralds lived
In the early 1930s, while Scott was writing “Tender is the Night,” the
museum has personal belongings, furniture,
photographs and manuscripts of the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
and the rare diaries and unpublished pictures made by his
Zelda, the talented Montgomery-born wife. Each room contains
memorabilia that tell a lot about its unusual
personalities and strange life together. In the projected
side porch of this rambling old house, the museum plays a
film of his sad story, told through interviews with survivors
relative and friends.


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