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5 Fun Facts About May 17 In Alabama History

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

1. Alabama became the 22nd state to join the Union on December 14, 1819, but it wasn't until May 17, 1900, that the Alabama state flag was officially adopted. The flag features a red X, which represents the St. Andrew's Cross, on a white background, with a crimson field on the outer edge.

2. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The decision had far-reaching effects in Alabama, where the fight for desegregation would continue for decades.

3. May 17, 1961, marked a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, as a group of Freedom Riders arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregation on Greyhound and Trailways buses. The riders, who were mostly college students, faced violent opposition from white supremacists and were met with arrests and police brutality.

4. May 17, 1972, saw the opening of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, a massive redevelopment project in downtown Birmingham that included a civic center, a coliseum, and a theater. The complex has since become a cornerstone of cultural and economic activity in the city.

5. On May 17, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, effectively outlawing nearly all abortions in the state. The bill, which was widely criticized as unconstitutional and discriminatory, sparked nationwide protests and legal challenges.
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