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5 Fun Facts About July 13 In Alabama History

---Learn Every Day: AL Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history al To: 618-270-4005---

1. Tuskegee Airmen formed: On July 13, 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen - the first African American pilots in the United States Army Air Corps - were formed at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Over 1,000 African American pilots trained at the Tuskegee Institute during World War II.

2. Invention of the gas mask: In 1915, Garrett Morgan, an African American inventor from Claysville, Alabama, created the first gas mask. Morgan's invention was used by soldiers during World War I and laid the foundation for modern gas mask technology.

3. First night game in Alabama football history: On July 13, 1996, the University of Alabama played its first-ever night game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide went on to defeat Vanderbilt University 39-13.

4. Battle of Mobile Bay: On July 13, 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay began during the American Civil War. Union Admiral David Farragut famously exclaimed, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" as his ships ran through a minefield to break through defenses and capture the Confederate naval base at Mobile.

5. Birmingham church bombing: On July 13, 1963, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four young girls and injuring 22 others. The tragic event became a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement and brought national attention to the struggle for racial justice in the South.
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