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Take time to mark bicentennial

Now that 2019 has arrived, the celebration of Alabama’s bicentennial is in its third of three years, and the anniversary of our official statehood is approaching.

Bicentennial plans and events began in 2017 to kick off a celebration spanning three years – in honor of the 200-year anniversary of the state’s formation as a territory in 1817 through its official 200th statehood birthday, Dec. 14, 1819.

Maybe it’s strange to imagine a birthday party for a state – with trappings like a cake, ice cream confetti or a piñata – but the bicentennial is certainly a reason to celebrate.

Franklin County donned party hats and cranked up the celebration in 2018 for our own 200th birthday as “a county older than the state,” tracing our history back to Feb. 6, 2018.

In 2019 the City of Russellville will celebrate its 200th just before the state does, Nov. 22, 2019.

Plenty of events will be taking place both locally and across the state to highlight the state’s bicentennial, and we hope you will join in the celebration.
Online at, you can find tons of great information about the people, places and events that have shaped our state and made it what it is today. You can also find out about exhibits and programs like the State PastPort effort – featuring two sites in Franklin County – and check out a comprehensive calendar of events that details ALABAMA200-related events throughout the state – including right here in Franklin, like the upcoming Wade Hall Traveling Postcard Exhibit at Russellville Public Library. And whether you’re up for a day trip or a weekend road trip, you can find plenty more events and programs in northwest Alabama and beyond.
Of course, the bicentennial isn’t just about our past and where we have been but about where we are going. As the ALABAMA200 website puts it, this is “an opportunity to chart a vibrant, prosperous future for the state with history as our guide.”

The bicentennial should be meaningful to all of us, the anniversary of a moment in history that provided the seed for everything we are today and everything we will be in the future. We should celebrate our heritage. After all, our state will only turn 200 once.
To learn more about the Alabama Bicentennial, visit