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5 Fun Facts About July 16 In Alabama History

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

1. In 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in Alamogordo, New Mexico, as part of the Manhattan Project. The scientist in charge of the project, Dr. Wernher von Braun, would later move to Huntsville, Alabama, where he helped develop the Saturn V rocket that carried humans to the moon.

2. On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin would later become the first humans to walk on the moon.

3. In 1997, Alabama native and former astronaut Mae Jemison founded the BioSentient Corporation, a company focused on researching and developing technology related to space exploration and human health. Jemison, who was the first African-American woman to travel to space, attended high school and college in Alabama.

4. In 1933, the famous "Scottsboro Boys" trial began in Jackson County, Alabama. Nine black teenagers were accused of raping two white women and were subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. The case became a symbol of racial injustice in the Jim Crow South and helped lead to the eventual abolition of all-white juries in the United States.

5. On July 16, 1918, boxer Joe Louis was born in LaFayette, Alabama. Louis would later become one of the most famous and successful boxers in history, winning the heavyweight championship of the world a record 25 times between 1937 and 1949. He was also a vocal advocate for civil rights and enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, where he served as a morale booster for African-American troops.
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