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Madison County in Alabama is a land of unique history that has lived through many significant events over the years. From warfare to industrialization, this county has seen it all. Here are seven interesting facts about Madison County's history you probably didn't know:

1. The first European to explore Madison County was the Frenchman, La Salle, in 1682. However, it was a long time before any real settlement could occur due to hostile Native American tribes controlling the land. It wasn't until modern times that the area became peaceful enough to establish permanent settlements.

2. Huntsville, Alabama, is a part of Madison County and played an integral role in the development of the United States space program. Huntsville was home to the Redstone Arsenal, where the U.S. Army built missiles in the 1950s. The success of the program led NASA to create the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

3. The largest battle fought in Alabama during the Civil War happened in Madison County. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was a battle that took place in March of 1814, led by General Andrew Jackson. The victory allowed Jackson to open up the area to settlement, leading to the establishment of present-day Huntsville.

4. Madison County was on the front line of the desegregation of America. In 1963, Governor George Wallace tried to prevent the desegregation of schools in Huntsville. However, Huntsville residents banded together with the federal government to successfully desegregate what is now one of the most successful and diverse school systems in Alabama.

5. Madison County is known as the "watercress capital of the world." This nickname is due to the fact that watercress grows year-round in the area's pure spring waters. It is still one of the most popular crops today, and every year, the Madison County Watercress Festival celebrates the county's agricultural history.

6. The city of Mooresville in Madison County is the first incorporated town in Alabama. It was incorporated in 1818, and much of the town has been preserved as a living museum of early 19th-century Southern life.

7. Madison County also played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement. During the 1960s, the Alabama Democratic Party would not allow African Americans to vote in the primaries. Madison County's courageous activists organized voter registration drives, and Huntsville became one of the first deep south cities to integrate.

Madison County has a varied and exciting history that has influenced the entire nation. From civil rights to space travel, this county has made an indelible impact on the world. Whether you are visiting for the history or the watercress, Madison County has something for everyone.

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