Alabama Historical Commission

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new, interactive map highlights historical structures and places in Alabama. 

The Alabama Historical Commission says its Historic Preservation Map Initiative is now available to the public.

The agency has converted its paper files into digital resources that can be viewed by clicking on multiple locations on an Alabama map.



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is moving ahead with work to study and remove artifacts from the submerged wreckage of the Clotilda, the last slave ship known to land in the United States. 

The Alabama Historical Commission released a request Tuesday seeking a contractor to provide divers who can assess and document the remains of the Clotilda, located near Mobile. Teams should be able to remove artifacts and test remains of the two-masted wooden schooner.



MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is spending $1 million to preserve the remnants of the last slave ship known to have landed in the United States more than 150 years ago. 

The Alabama Historical Commission said Thursday that the money will be used to begin Phase 3 of preservation efforts for the Clotilda. The agency says that will include targeted artifact excavation and an engineering study.

Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The last slave ship known to have landed in the United States has a new owner: The state of Alabama. 

A federal judge granted ownership of the Clotilda shipwreck to the Alabama Historical Commission in an order released Monday. The decision by U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose means the state will have final say over remnants of the ship, which was found on a muddy river bottom north of Mobile and identified last year.

pottery shards

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's preservation agency is investigating whether pottery shards, bone fragments and spearheads found near where a subdivision is being built in Huntsville might be evidence of an ancient settlement. reports the Alabama Historical Commission is reviewing reports from people who raised concerns about items found near a development called Flint Crossing. An Army archaeologist says a decade-old assessment showed significant evidence of a Native American village at the site from roughly 500-900 AD.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has filed a federal court claim to ownership of the wreckage of the last ship known to bring enslaved people from Africa to the U.S., a move the archaeologist who helped find the ship says will bolster protection of the site.

Mobile River

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — It's not clear yet what will be done with the wreckage of a 19th century schooner, discovered in the murky Mobile River, that is believed to be the last ship to bring enslaved people from Africa to the United States, but Mobile resident Jerry Ward knows what he'd like to see done.

Alabama State University

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A group for Alabama historians has elected its first African-American president after more than 70 years in existence.

The Alabama Historical Association has elected Wetumpka native Franzine Taylor as president for the upcoming year.

Taylor works in the archives department at Alabama State University in Montgomery. An announcement from the school says she's the first black person elected president of the group since its founding in 1947.

Taylor was also presented with an award recognizing her contributions to Alabama history.

Myron Thompson
Alex AuBuchon / APR

A Mobile city councilman is in stable condition today after he was shot during a robbery in South Africa this weekend.

City Councilman C.J. Small owns and operates Small’s Mortuary and Cremation Services in Mobile. He was in Johannesburg attending the South African Funeral Director and Morticians Association Convention. At around noon Johannesburg time, the tour bus Small was riding was ambushed and several patrons were robbed. Small was shot in the face during the incident, and some other passengers were injured.

Alabama's unemployment rate is down slightly to 6.1 percent.

Wage and salary employment increased by 16,500 jobs in April, with the largest number of jobs coming in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. The professional and business services sector added another 3,500 jobs.

The state's jobless rate remains well above the national rate of 5 percent, however.

Alabama unemployment is worst in Wilcox County at 12.8 percent. Shelby County has the state's lowest job rate at 4 percent.

Freedom Rides bus
National Civil Rights Museum

The Alabama Historical Commission is commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Freedom Rides today in Montgomery.

In 1961, a group of largely black students pledged to ride interstate buses through the Southeast to protest the lack of enforcement of bus desegregation laws.

Blue Bell is beginning a trial run of ice cream production at its Sylacauga plant after a national recall due to a series of listeria illnesses.

Alabama Health Officer Don Williamson said yesterday that Blue Bell notified his department that it will begin a trial run of production later this month. The ice cream will not be sold to consumers. Williamson says both state health officials and Blue Bell will test the product for listeria.

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Alabama Historical Commission officials say they're working to save some of the state's historic sites from being sold despite an audit outlining the possible sale of some landmarks.

Commission Director Frank White told on Monday that a five-year plan to cut costs and boost revenue are expected to help the organization stave off sales of popular historical properties. If sales do become necessary White says Fort Morgan, Old Cahawba and the state Capitol building won't be among the sites being considered.

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Ten landmarks have been selected for Alabama's new tax credits for rehabilitation projects.

The Alabama Historical Commission says more applications were submitted than the $20 million in tax credits that are available annually. The commission says 10 projects have qualified for 2014 tax credits and 10 more are on a wait list.