Happy Birthday, Alabama!

As an Alabamian, I am very proud to say I am from the Yellowhammer State. From the incredible barbeque in Birmingham to the technological advances in Huntsville that have advanced space travel, this great state has a lot to offer.

Here are the top five things that make me proud to be from "The Heart of Dixie."

5. Muscle Shoals:

From Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin and Bob Seger, the legendary recording studio located at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama has seen some of the most legendary artists that music has to offer.

Photo Courtesy of Encyclopedia of Alabama
Photo Courtesy of Encyclopedia of Alabama

The studio opened in 1969 when "The Swampers," a musical group from the town, decided to create a recording studio to compete with the best.

In Lynyrd Skynyrd's ode to the great state "Sweet Home Alabama", this recording studio, and the musical group that founded it, received a shout-out that will forever go down in history.

"Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they've been known to pick a song or two (yes they do)
Lord, they get me off so much
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue, now how 'bout you?"

For more on Muscle Shoals, visit there website here.

4. The Vulcan Statue in Birmingham:

Known as the "Iron City," Birmingham is an industrial hub for the whole southeast United States. To serve as a beacon for the city's expertise in steel-working, the Vulcan statue was built as an attraction for the 1904's World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

Photo Courtesy of Magic City Weekend
Photo Courtesy of Magic City Weekend

The Vulcan is currently the 16th tallest statue in the United States, which explains the incredible view of the "Magic City" that you can see when you travel to the top of the monument.

According to the statue's Wikipedia article, the statue currently holds a mini-spear to assist with his steel-working, the statue has previously been seen holding an ice cream cone, a bottle of Coke, and even a traffic beacon to promote highway safety.

For more on the Vulcan statue, visit their website here.

3. Huntsville's Space and Rocket Center:

Since it's opening in 1970, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama has been educating Alabamians on the state's advances in space travel.

At the museum, guests can view science exhibits, space shuttle simulators, and even the hardware from the Apollo 12 mission to the moon.

Phot Courtesy of ABC 33/40
Phot Courtesy of ABC 33/40

In addition to its full-scale model Saturn V rocket, the Space and Rocket Center houses many other pieces of history from NASA's many moon missions.

Not far from the Space and Rocket Center's location is the Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA's largest center for space travel. In the Apollo missions, the "MSFC" developed the Saturn rockets that allowed astronauts to get to outer space.

For more on the Space and Rocket Center, visit their website here.

2. Milo's Sweet Tea:

It is no question that the state of Alabama's beverage of choice is sweet tea. After World War II, founders Milo and Bea Carlton created the drink, and just years later, the Carltons opened their famous burger restaurant.

Photo Courtesy of World Tea News
Photo Courtesy of World Tea News

In 1989, the Birmingham-based company started selling the famous drink to grocery stores all around Birmingham.

Today, you can find the red labeled-beverage anywhere, from gas stations to grocery stores across the southeast.

For more on Milo's Sweet Tea, visit their website, here.

1. Alabama Football:

What else could hold the top spot?

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Alabama v Michigan State
Getty Images

Since 1892, the Crimson Tide has rolled across it's opponents from all corners of the United States. Hailing 17 national championships, 27 SEC titles, and 74 All-Americans, the football team has done it all.

Now lead by by six-time (five of which were with "Bama) national title winning coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide are currently on track to win a 28th SEC title and an 18th national championship.

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From Mobile Bay to Montgomery and Selma to Dothan, this great state has provided many incredible things to it's people and to other around the country.

It's been a historic 201 years, so to the "Camelia State," I wish Alabama a happy 201st birthday. Here's to 201 more!

Career Statistical Leaders: The Alabama Football Record Book

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