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5 Fun Facts About July 2 In Alabama History

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

1. On July 2, 1964, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, calling for an end to segregation and discrimination in the state. His speech, which echoed his famous "I Have a Dream" speech delivered the year prior in Washington, D.C., was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement in Alabama and the nation as a whole.

2. July 2, 1863, marked the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point in the American Civil War. Several Alabama regiments were heavily involved in the battle, including the 1st and 4th Alabama Infantry, which fought on the Union side after the state's secession.

3. On July 2, 1961, Jackie Robinson, the legendary baseball player who broke the color line in the sport, spoke at a gathering of civil rights activists in Birmingham. His visit was part of a larger effort to promote desegregation in the city, which was notorious for its staunch resistance to civil rights reforms.

4. July 2, 1962, saw the launch of the first satellite to be built in Alabama, the Orbiting Solar Observatory 1. The satellite was designed to study the sun's radiation and solar flares, and was a major accomplishment for the state's burgeoning aerospace industry.

5. Finally, July 2 is also the birthday of several notable figures in Alabama history, including country music legend Marvin "Pee Wee" King (born July 2, 1914), pioneering civil rights attorney Fred Gray (born July 2, 1930), and former governor of Alabama, Guy Hunt (born July 2, 1933).
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