Year of Alabama History



May 25, 1910












May 25, 1865











May 25, 1971









May 28, 1828












May 28, 1951















May 29, 1901







Wright Flying School

This Week in Alabama History

May 24 - 30




Featured Event:

The first-ever nighttime airplane flight is made at Orville Wright's flying school near Montgomery. Walter Brookins and Archibald Hoxsey piloted the plane, which the Montgomery Advertiser described as "glinting now and then in the moonlight" during flight. The flying school closed shortly after the historic event, but the site eventually became home to Maxwell Air Force Base.

Other Events this Week

During the early weeks of Federal occupation of Mobile, the city suffers one of its worst disasters as twenty tons of captured Confederate gunpowder explodes in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. Property loss was put at $5,000,000 and the number of casualties was never determined, although it has been estimated at possibly 300. The entire northern part of the city was laid in ruins by the explosion.


President Richard Nixon visits Mobile to mark the start of construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The waterway, when completed in 1985, ran from Pickwick Lake to Demopolis, Alabama, to connect the Tennessee River to the Tombigbee River. A link between the two rivers had long been desired, having been first proposed by the French in the eighteenth century.


A United States arsenal is established at Mt. Vernon, near the juncture of the Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers. It had previously been the headquarters for General Claiborne in the Creek War of 1813-1814. In 1873 the Arsenal was converted into a barracks, which from 1887 to 1894 housed Apache Indian prisoners, including Geronimo. In 1895 the land was conveyed to the State of Alabama and became the site of the Mt. Vernon Hospital.


Batting for the New York Giants against the Boston Braves, Alabama native Willie Mays gets his first hit in the Major Leagues--a home run. Born near Birmingham, the "Say Hey Kid" went on to be named National League Rookie of the Year and hit 660 homers in a legendary Hall of Fame career.


Listen: Click the play button below to hear Archives Staff discuss this event on Alabama Public Radio.


Seven days into the Constitutional Convention of 1901 a petition submitted by Booker T. Washington and twenty-three other African-American leaders is read to convention delegates, all of whom are white. The petition asked that the black Alabamian be given "some humble share in choosing those who shall rule over him." Nevertheless, with the ratification of the Constitution of 1901 in November, blacks--along with poor whites--were effectively disfranchised.