Montgomery is the capital and second most populous city in Alabama, and is the county
seat of Montgomery County. It is
located southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. The city population was 201,568 as of the 2000 Census.
The city was incorporated in 1819, as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846 when the capital was moved from Tuscaloosa. In February 1861, Montgomery was selected as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, until the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia in May of that year. During the mid-20th century, Montgomery was a primary site in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Today, in addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence due to Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base, public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University-Montgomery, private colleges/universities Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, and ABA-accredited law school Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, high-tech manufacturing including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and cultural attractions like the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (see picture at right) and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Montgomery is a city of complexity. Although Montgomery is full of well-preserved historical sites and takes pride in its past, it also has made giant steps to keep up with modern day life. Montgomery is the home of the U S Air Force's Annual Information Technology Conference. This conference focuses on leading edge technology and how best to use it.
I enjoyed attending these conferences for a number of years as a member of the U.S. Air Force. I would spend the day learning about the technology advancements being made and at the end of the day, I would walk a few blocks away to see where history was made.
History buffs, if you are planning a trip to Montgomery, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the visit!