After our rainy days in Gulf Shores, the sun came out as we continued our Alabama roadtrip into the state capital of Montgomery. Montgomery has been in United States history books multiple times, most notably during the Civil War era and during the Civil Rights Movement. Famous residents of Montgomery include Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jefferson Davis, and Zelda Fitzgerald. Their houses are all preserved for visitors- although Rosa Parks’ home is in Berlin these days!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church where he served at pastor for a time:
We parked outside the White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis and family lived for a whole 4 months before the Confederate capital moved to Richmond, Virginia. These days the White House of the Confederacy sits across the street from the Alabama Capitol Building after it was moved from its original location.
The overly-enthusiastic greeter at the White House of the Confederacy relayed every bit of information he could during our 10 minute, free walkthrough. It was enough to make anyone famished. My brother, mother, and I then moved onto lunch!
Our lunch spot, Scott Street Deli, courtesy of Yelp, was a fantastic, non-fancy deli filled with schoolchildren and a smattering of local business people in need of a good sandwich or homemade ice cream.
My giant ham and cheese with lettuce, onion, mustard, pickles, and olives on homemade wheat bread- with one very large bite already taken out of it. Ha!
Civil Rights Sights
After lunch we drove to the Rosa Parks Museum which also happens to be where Rosa Parks’ journey into Civil Rights history began and the pivotal Montgomery bus boycott first got its legs.
Inside the Museum ($7.50 entrance fee) the tour starts with a movie bringing the viewer back to 1950s Montgomery with it’s cruel and inhumane treatment of black people. The movie moves through the museum with the viewer to tell the story of what happened on Rosa Parks’ bus that day. She is an inspirational women who in the face of adversity, showed little fear and fought for what is right.
The Rosa Parks Museum included exhibits about the Civil Rights Movement in the years following the bus boycott in Montgomery mostly but also in the rest of the South. There were some stories I had never heard before like the one where white housewives were part of the carpool systems black individuals had to use during the bus boycott. Or about Rosa Parks’ contributions to other aspects of the Civil Rights Movement before and after her famous arrest.
After our tour of the Rosa Parks Museum was finished we did a short walking tour to see where Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. was a pastor and where he lived.
Montgomery also has a Civil Rights Memorial and Memorial Center. The Memorial was designed by Maya Lin, the same woman who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the National Mall of Washington, DC.
On the Memorial is a timeline of tragedies and events in the fight for Civil Rights:
The Museum itself closes at 5pm and we didn’t arrive til 4:35pm so we skipped in the inside to read and view the memorial. There was some amazing smelling jasmine outside! (I think it is jasmine anyway)
Where we stayed
Blogging at free breakfast with my cute, new Lewis and Clark RFID-blocking tote:
After all that US history and ensuing white guilt, it was time for a beverage- wine for me, soda for Mom, and a beer for Michael. We stayed slightly outside the city center at Drury Inn and Suites because they have a fun and free happy hour and suites. When traveling with your family, sometimes it is nice to have some extra space to spread out. And sometimes it is nice to have free wine
Birmingham is next up on our Alabama Roadtrip!
Reader Question: Ever been to Montgomery? Did you know Rosa Parks’ house was in Berlin?