Okay, quick quiz: can you name 6 famous people from Montgomery, Alabama?
Well move to the top if the class if you answered, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Nat King Cole, Hank Williams , F. Scott Fitzgerald and General Montgomery himself.
Here’s why they’re all associated with Montgomery and helped put this fascinating town on the map.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He had a dream that one day blacks and whites would be equal. And how proud he would be now that we have a black president. But it all started here, in Montgomery, where Dr. King was a minister at the Dexter Memorial Church, the only church he preached in. He went on to be involved in the Civil Rights Movement that was to have lasting effects on America.
- Rosa Parks
And who can forget the courage of Rosa Parks? In refusing to give up her seat to a white person on the bus, she encouraged millions of Americans to stand up for their own rights. This led to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The museum dedicated to her is ironically in the old Empire Theater, where Mrs. Parks was arrested.
- Nat King Cole
His most famous song was “Unforgettable” and that’s what Nat King Cole was. He won his very first musical competition at the tender age of four and was the first black American to host a variety show on TV. Even today, he remains one of the top-selling artists of all time.
- Hank Williams
Although he died at only 29 years of age, Hank Williams was an icon for any country music lover. His most famous songs were Your Cheating Heart and Jambalaya. A museum is dedicated to him at Commerce Street and holds more Hank memorabilia than any place else in the world. The famous baby blue Cadillac in which he sadly passed away, is here.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Well-known as the author of the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald served in the army and during a dance met his sweetheart and then wife, Zelda. They lived in Montgomery where Zelda grew up. The only museum dedicated to the couple is here on the ground floor of their former home which was saved from demolition by kindly neighbors.
- General Montgomery
He’s actually the reason the city got its name. The city was founded in 1819 and was given the name Montgomery to honor General Richard Montgomery’s who fought in the American War of Independence. His name was used for the new city that was formed from the merging of the previous towns of New Philadelphia and Alabama Town.
Six famous people Montgomery can claim as their own. And six very good reasons to visit this vibrant and historical city.