The Encyclopedia of Alabama
The Blue-Gray Classic was a long-running annual college football game, traditionally held on Christmas Day in Montgomery, that featured seniors from across the country. The game heavily employed Civil War symbols and imagery. In 1963 the lack of black players led for a television boycott of the contest.
Bobby Bowden (1929- ) is a Birmingham native who went on to become one of the winingest coaches in the history of college football. Over three-and-a-half decades he led Florida State to two national championships and earned him the second all-time wins over his career.
The Cramton Bowl is a multi-use stadium in Montgomery. Initially built in the 1920s as a dual baseball/football venue, the stadium is best known as the host of the long-running Blue-Gray All-Star Game. In 2012 the stadium was renovated to a 21,000 capacity and added a multipurpose sports facility.
Don Hutson (1913-1997) was a wide receiver who electrified Alabama football's aerial attack and went on to revolutionize the game at the professional level. Hutson was instrumental in the Crimson Tide's 1934 national championship and played 16 years with the Green Bay Packers.
Gene Stallings (1935- ) is a national-championship winning former head coach for the University of Alabama football team. A player at Texas A&M under Paul W. Bryant, Stallings served as defensive coordinator for UA before becoming the head coach at his Alma Mater. He was UA's head football coach from 1990 to 1996.
Harry Gilmer (1926-2016) was one of the most electrifying and dynamic players in the history of Alabama football. The Birmingham native was an All-American and SEC Player of the year in 1945 and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1945 and 1947. Gilmer remains the only Alabama player taken with the first pick of the NFL Draft.
Jeff Sessions (1946- ) is the current US Attorney General and a former US Senator from Alabama. A die-hard conservative, Session's time as a prosecutor at the state and federal level has been marked with controversy over racial bias. His political career has been marked by anti-immigrant and tough-on-crime measures.
Lee vs Macon County is a pivotal civil rights case that led to the court-ordered integration of almost all Alabama school districts, public universities and athletic associations. The case finally overcame Alabama Governor George Wallace's hardline support of segregation in the state.
In February 1960, a group of Alabama State College students attempted a sit-in demonstration in the Montgomery County Courthouse cafeteria. The incident re-sparked the civil rights movement in the state and led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling regarding student's rights.
Nick Saban (1951- ) is the current head coach of the University of Alabama football team and one of the most successful in the history of the sport. Since taking over at UA in 2007, Saban's teams have won five national championships and four SEC championships. A total of 77 UA players under Saban have been selected in the NFL Draft.
Otis Davis (1932- ) is a Tuscaloosa native who won a pair of gold medals in the 1960 Olympic Games. As an athlete at the University of Oregon, Davis dominated the quarter mile race and was ranked top ten in the world three times over his career.
Paul Finebaum (1955- ) is a nationally known sports radio host whose reputation is based on his coverage (and criticism) of Alabama's college football teams. For more than three decades, The Paul Finebaum show has broadcast across the south making him a household name when it comes to SEC sports.
Richard Shelby (1934- ) is Alabama's longtime US Senator. A staunch conservative, Shelby was actually elected to the position in 1986 as a Democrat and changed parties in 1994. Previously he served as a member of the Alabama state senate and as a US Representative.
The University of Alabama men’s basketball program was founded in 1911 and has become one of the most successful in the Southeastern Conference. The team has earned 20 NCAA Tournament appearances and more than two dozen Alabama players have gone on to careers in the NBA.
Wendell Hudson (1951- ) is the first black scholarship athlete at the University of Alabama and a trailblazer for integrating Alabama high-school basketball as well. The Birmingham native is also the second black varsity head coach at UA and sued the NCAA regarding rules that limited coaching staff.
William Sibert (1860-1935) was an Alabama native who earned a reputation as a civil engineer on some of the greatest infrastructure projects of the 20th century including the Panama Canal and Hoover Dam. He was also the first commander of the US Army's Chemical Warfare Service during World War I.