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5 Fun Facts About September 14 In Alabama History

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

1. Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819, but on September 14, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie took place during the War of 1812. Several Alabamians fought in this naval battle, including 28-year-old Thomas Shields of Milledgeville, who served aboard the brig Niagara.

2. On September 14, 1974, musician Waylon Jennings made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Born in Littlefield, Texas, Jennings moved to Nashville in the early 1960s and became one of the pioneers of the outlaw country movement.

3. The Alabama State Fair kicks off each year in mid-September, and September 14 is often one of the busiest days at the fairgrounds. Founded in 1854, the fair features livestock exhibits, carnival rides, concerts, and traditional Southern foods like fried chicken and funnel cakes.

4. Historians believe that the first European explorer to visit what is now Alabama was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who arrived on the Gulf Coast on September 14, 1540. De Soto was searching for gold and other riches, and he eventually made his way north through what is now Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

5. On September 14, 1925, legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant made his college debut as a player for the University of Alabama. Bryant played end for the Crimson Tide from 1933 to 1935 and later coached the team to six national championships. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in college football history.
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