Place:Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States

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NameTuscaloosa
Alt namesDruid Citysource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Louisevillesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Matildavillesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Shelbyvillesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Shelleyvillesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Shelltownsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Shellytownsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Tuskalloosasource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
Tuskaloosasource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS1023124
TypeCity
Coordinates33.207°N 87.535°W
Located inTuscaloosa, Alabama, United States     (1816 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017.

Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.

Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.

Tuscaloosa has been traditionally known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. The city has become known nationally for the sports successes of the University of Alabama, particularly in football. City leaders adopted the moniker "The City of Champions" after the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the BCS National Championship in their 2009, 2011, and again in their 2012 seasons. The Tide won the College Football Playoff in the 2015 season and 2017 season.

In 2008, the City of Tuscaloosa hosted the USA Olympic Triathlon trials for the Beijing Games.

In recent years, Tuscaloosa has been named the "Most Livable City in America," one of America's "100 Best Communities for Young People," one of the "50 Best College Towns," and one of the "Best Places to Launch a Small Business."

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Native American

Nearly 12,000 years ago, Native Americans or Paleo-Indians arrived in what today is referred to as the Deep South. They were hunter-gatherers who pursued the megafauna that became extinct following the end of the Pleistocene age.

After thousands of years, successive indigenous cultures developed a rich and complex agricultural society. Emerging in the early first millennium of the common era were the people of the Mississippian culture. Like some of the generations before them, they built large earthwork mounds in planned sites that expressed their cosmology. Their large earthworks, built for political and religious rituals roughly from 900AD to 1500AD, expressed their cosmology. Their earthwork mounds and great plazas survive throughout the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, as well as their tributaries in the Southeast.


Descendant Native American tribes include the Creek or Muskogee people. Also among the historical tribes living in the area of present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were the Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee in the interior, believed to have migrated south centuries before from the Great Lakes area. The tribes of the coastal plain and Piedmont included the Muskogean-speaking Alabama (Alibamu), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Koasati, and Mobile.

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States. He had gained popularity when he defeated the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, following victories in the War of 1812. He long proposed Indian removal to an Indian Territory to be established west of the Mississippi, to make land available in the Southeast for European-American settlement. Jackson abandoned the policy of his predecessors of treating different Indian groups as separate nations.[1] Instead, he aggressively pursued plans to move all Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi River.[1]

Following Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act, in 1832 the Creek National Council signed the Treaty of Cusseta, ceding their remaining lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S., and accepting relocation to the Indian Territory. They had already been under pressure from new settlers encroaching on their territory. Most Muscogee-speaking peoples were removed to Indian Territory during the Trail of Tears in 1834, although some remained behind. Some Muscogee in Alabama live near Poarch Creek Reservation in Atmore (northeast of Mobile).

Statehood

The pace of white settlement in the Southeast increased greatly after the War of 1812 and the Treaty of Fort Jackson. A small assortment of log cabins soon arose near the large Creek village at the fall line of the river, which the new settlers named in honor of the sixteenth-century Chief Tuskaloosa of a Muskogean-speaking tribe. In 1817, Alabama became a territory. On December 13, 1819, the territorial legislature incorporated the town of Tuscaloosa, one day before Congress admitted Alabama to the Union as a state.

From 1826 to 1846, Tuscaloosa was the capital of Alabama. During this period, in 1831, the University of Alabama was established. The town's population and economy grew rapidly, but the relocation of the capital to Montgomery caused a severe decline. The state legislature established Bryce State Hospital for the Insane in Tuscaloosa in the 1850s, which helped restore the city's fortunes.

Civil War

During the Civil War following Alabama's secession from the Union, several thousand men from Tuscaloosa fought in the Confederate armies. During the last weeks of the War, a brigade of Union troops raiding the city burned the campus of the university. The larger town was also damaged in the battle and shared fully in the South's economic sufferings which followed the defeat.


In the 1890s the construction of a system of locks and dams on the Black Warrior River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improved navigation to such an extent that Tuscaloosa was effectively connected to the Gulf Coast seaport of Mobile. This stimulated the economy and trade, and mining and metallurgical industries were developed in the region. By the advent of the 20th century, the growth of the University of Alabama and the mental health-care facilities in the city, along with a strong national economy, fueled a steady growth in Tuscaloosa which continued unabated for 100 years.

Civil rights era

In the postwar era after World War II, African Americans increased their activism to regain their constitutional civil rights, and challenged southern segregation in numerous ways. In 1952, Autherine Lucy was admitted to the University as a graduate student, but her admission was rescinded when authorities discovered she was not white. After three years of legal wrangling, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP got a court order preventing the University from banning Lucy and another student based on race. The following year, Lucy enrolled as a graduate student in Library Science on February 3, 1956, becoming the first African American admitted to a white public school or university in the state. During her first day of class on February 6, students and others rioted on the campus, where a mob of more than a thousand white men pelted the car in which she was taken to her classes. Death threats were made against her and the University president's home was stoned. The riots were the most violent involving a pro-segregation demonstration since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. After the riots, the University suspended Lucy from school stating her own safety was a concern; it later expelled her on a technicality. She was active in civil rights for a time, but withdrew later that year. After her expulsion was annulled by the University in 1988, Lucy re-enrolled and completed her M.S. in Library Science in 1992.


On June 11, 1963, George Wallace, governor of Alabama, stood in front of the Foster Auditorium entrance at The University of Alabama in what became known as the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door in an attempt to stop desegregation of that institution by the enrollment of two African-American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood. He had created a challenge to federal orders, when confronted by US Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and federal marshals sent in by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Wallace stepped aside. President John F. Kennedy had supported integration of the University of Alabama as well.

On June 9, 1964, in an event that later became known as Bloody Tuesday, a group of peaceful African-American Civil rights marchers were beaten, arrested and tear gassed by police in Tuscaloosa while walking from the First African Baptist Church to the County Courthouse to protest against the segregated restrooms and drinking fountains of this public facility. Thirty-three people were sent to the hospital for treatment of injuries, and 94 were arrested. The events were not witnessed by outside journalists and had little influence outside the local community. A year later, the Bloody Sunday events in Selma of a voting rights march attracted national and international coverage and attention.

James Hood dropped out of the University of Alabama after two months. He later returned and, in 1997, received his Ph.D. in philosophy. Malone persisted in her studies at the time and became the first African American to graduate from the university. In 2000, the university granted her an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Later in his life, Wallace apologized for his opposition at that time to racial integration.

In 2010, the university formally honored Lucy, Hood and Malone by renaming the plaza in front of Foster Auditorium as Malone-Hood Plaza and erecting the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower in the plaza.

2011 tornado

On April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa was hit by a wide EF4 tornado that resulted in 64 deaths, more than 1500 injuries, and massive devastation. 44 of the deaths were in Tuscaloosa alone, with the rest being in Birmingham and surrounding suburbs. The tornado's top winds were estimated by the US National Weather Service at .[2] Officials at DCH Regional Medical alone reported treating more than 1,000 injured people in the tornado aftermath. Officials reported dozens of unaccompanied minors being admitted for treatment at the hospital, raising questions about the possible loss of their parents. Several were taken to pediatric trauma wards, indicating serious injuries.[3] Referring to the extent and severity of the damage, Mayor Walter Maddox stated that "we have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map." The same tornado later went on to cause major damage in the Birmingham area.[4] In all, the cost of damage from the tornado amounted to $2.45 billion, making it, at the time, the costliest tornado in U.S. history, though it would be surpassed less than a month later by the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22.

The tornado was part of the larger 2011 Super Outbreak which affected large parts of the eastern United States.


In the immediate aftermath of the tornado, thousands of rescue workers dug through the wreckage looking for survivors and recovering bodies. More than 450 persons were originally listed as missing in the post-disaster chaos, leading to fears that the death toll could climb rapidly and skepticism about the relatively low fatality figures in relation to the high number of casualties. Rumors abounded that refrigerated trucks were being brought to store unidentified remains, and that countless bodies were beneath area waters. But the fatality figure did not increase (and was later reduced). Most persons listed as missing were later found to have survived.[5] During this period, The Tuscaloosa News posted an on-line people finder to aid people to find each other, as well as determine who was still missing.

Two days after the storm, US president Barack Obama and Alabama governor Robert Bentley, and their spouses, Michelle Obama and Diane Bentley, respectively, accompanied Mayor Maddox on a tour of the damage and the recovery efforts, along with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and several Congressional dignitaries. Remarking about the scale and severity of the damage, Obama said, "I've never seen devastation like this, it's heartbreaking", after touring the damaged areas. Obama pledged the full resources of the federal government toward aiding the recovery efforts. Bentley—himself a Tuscaloosa native—pledged additional national guard troops.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced that he was requesting 500 additional National Guard troops and calling for more volunteer aid workers and cadaver teams for the recovery of bodies, in order to prevent the spread of disease.

The New York Yankees organization contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to aid in recovery efforts, and the Atlanta Braves organization donated $100,000. Actor Charlie Sheen visited the city to pay his respects on May 2 and donated supplies for relief efforts, along with several other actors, musicians and athletes.

Due to the disaster, on August 6, 2011, the University of Alabama held a delayed graduation ceremony for the class of 2011. It awarded posthumous degrees to six students who died in the tornado. The cable channel ESPN filmed a tribute in memory of the devastation.

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