The character of South Alabama is largely determined by its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico: even the landlocked eastern three-quarters, cut off from the Gulf by the panhandle of Florida, is a region of gently-rising, sandy land drained by many winding, slow-moving streams. The area was not considered very good for agriculture, and so remained sparsely settled until late in the 19th century, by which time much of the native pine forest had been cut down. But the soil proved to be ideal for raising peanuts, and today the largest town in the region, Dothan, bills itself as the Peanut Capital of the World.
But it's the other corner of the region that is the best known: the area of Mobile Bay and the Gulf beaches. The city of Mobile was the first capital of French Louisiana, after its founding in 1702, and it shares much in common with the present state of Louisiana...including Mardi Gras. Mobile's first Mardi Gras "krewe" (a formally organized carnival club) dates to 1830--27 years before the first comparable organization in New Orleans.
Mobile shares much more in common with New Orleans, from its architecture (French, Spanish, and American) to its cuisine (heavily dependent on seafood) to its climate (hot and rainy in summer, but gloriously mild throughout most of the winter).
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News Minute: Here is the latest Alabama news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. CDT
Apr 29, 2017 4:46 pm
A new Cessna Skyhawk aircraft has been provided to Auburn University for six months for educational events and pilot training. Seventeen students along with Auburn University Aviation Center personnel...
Auburn aviation program benefits from Cessna Skyhawk loan
Apr 29, 2017 2:54 pm
A new Cessna Skyhawk aircraft has been provided to Auburn University for six months for educational events and pilot training.
Drake to deliver commencement address at Alabama-Huntsville
Apr 29, 2017 2:26 pm
The chief executive officer and president of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. will deliver the commencement address at the University of Alabama in Huntsville next month.
Alabama company wins $260 million naval contract
Apr 29, 2017 2:18 pm
An Alabama-based company has won a $260 million contract to work on Navy ships.
Baker parents upset about honor cord policy
Apr 28, 2017 11:16 pm
Some Baker High School parents are upset after they were told seniors can’t wear all their individual honor cords on graduation day.
11-year-old governor-for-a-day takes over Twitter account
Apr 28, 2017 7:30 pm
An 11-year-old girl has taken over the Twitter account of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and is spending the day being chauffeured to official events.
Weather cancels Dauphin Island Race
Apr 28, 2017 6:50 pm
The 59th annual Dauphin Island Race, scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed due to forecasts for rain and windy conditions.
Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle running for governor
Apr 28, 2017 5:06 pm
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is running for governor of Alabama.
Police: Body of missing toddler found in mother's 'deplorabe' home
Apr 28, 2017 10:02 am
Authorities: The body of a 1½-year-old girl has been found at a "deplorable" Illinois home she and her mother shared with squatters.
Carnival Fantasy alerts Coast Guard after body spotted in the water
Apr 28, 2017 3:31 am
The Coast Guard is searching for a person in the water approximately 157 nautical miles off of Pensacola.