Huntsville, AL—Two hundred years ago, Huntsville served as the birthplace of the state of Alabama. It was here in downtown Huntsville in the summer of 1819 that the 44 delegates, eight of whom were from Madison County, convened to draft the constitution that created the state of Alabama. So now, as 2019 approaches, it is only fitting that we launch the celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial.
For the past two years, we have honored Alabama’s people and places. In 2019, the focus will shift to celebrating the stories of Alabama. In Huntsville/Madison County, there are over 75 bicentennial partners who will be telling hundreds of stories through exhibits, seminars, music concerts, dance, historical restorations, tours, conferences, paintings, oral histories, children’s activities, murals, re-enactments, books, theatrical plays, and many other special events.
A few specific local events include:
- “Making Alabama” traveling exhibit, June-July 2019, Huntsville Botanical Garden: This free, interactive exhibit, sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, will travel to all 67 Alabama counties.
- “We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents”, June 30-August 11, 2019, Huntsville Museum of Art: This exhibit, by the Alabama Department of History and Archives, features all six of Alabama’s constitutions. These one of a kind documents have been totally restored in honor of the bicentennial and will be making their debut viewing in Huntsville.
- Legislative Bicentennial Kick-off Celebration and unveiling of the Alabama postage stamp, February 23, 2019, Constitution Hall Park
- Launch of the historic replica of the Ditto Landing ferry, Spring 2019, Ditto Landing
- Re-enactment of President James Monroe’s 1819 surprise visit to Huntsville and toasting banquet, June 1, 2019, Constitution Hall Park
The Huntsville/Madison County Bicentennial Executive Committee is chaired by Julian Butler, with Judy Ryals, Sarah Savage, Butch Damson, Bart Williams, Stephanie Malone, Arley McCormick, Tony Smith, Jan Williams, and Mike Chappell serving as members. Sally Warden serves as Executive Director of the Huntsville/Madison County Bicentennial Committee. They are supported by a 40-member volunteer committee and more than 75 partner organizations. The official calendar of local bicentennial events is maintained by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.
For more information about Alabama’s bicentennial, visit Alabama200.org or AL200madison.com. Also visit us on Facebook at Alabama200-Huntsville/Madison County.