Mobile, Alabama

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Template:Pp-move-indef Template:Use mdy dates Template:Infobox settlement Mobile (Template:IPAc-en Template:Respell) is the third most populous city in the U.S. state of Alabama, the county seat of Mobile County, and Alabama's only salt water port. It is located at the head of Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census.<ref name="2010 Census">Template:Cite web</ref> It is the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 412,992 residents which is composed solely of Mobile County and is the third largest metropolitan statistical area in the state.<ref name="2010 Census"/><ref name="2009Census2">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile is largest city in the Mobile-DaphneFairhope CSA, with a total population of 591,599, the second largest in the state.<ref name="2009 Census3">Template:Cite web</ref>

Mobile began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702. The city gained its name from the Native American Mobilian tribe that the French colonists found in the area of Mobile Bay.<ref name="maubilianind">Template:Cite web</ref> During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony for France, then Britain, and lastly Spain. Mobile first became a part of the United States of America in 1810, with the annexation of West Florida under President James Madison. It then left that union in 1861 when Alabama joined the Confederate States of America, which collapsed in 1865.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Located at the junction of the Mobile River and Mobile Bay on the northern Gulf of Mexico, the city is the only seaport in Alabama.<ref name="foundmob">Template:Cite web</ref> The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city beginning with the city as a key trading center between the French and Native Americans down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States.<ref name="mobilianpid">Drechsel, Emanuel. Mobilian Jargon: Linguistic and Sociohistorical Aspects of a Native American Pidgin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-824033-3</ref><ref name="port">Template:Cite web</ref>

As one of the Gulf Coast's cultural centers, Mobile has several art museums, a symphony orchestra, a professional opera, a professional ballet company, and a large concentration of historic architecture.<ref name="mma2">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="srg">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile is known for having the oldest organized carnival celebrations in the United States, dating to the 18th century of its early colonial period. It was also host to the first formally organized Carnival mystic society, known elsewhere as a krewe, in the United States, dating back to 1830.<ref name="MMtime">Template:Cite web</ref>



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The European settlement of Mobile, then known as Fort Louis de la Louisiane, started in 1702, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the first capital of the French colony of Louisiana. It was founded by French Canadian brothers Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, to establish control over France's Louisiana claims. Bienville was made governor of French Louisiana in 1701. Mobile's Roman Catholic parish was established on July 20, 1703, by Jean-Baptiste de la Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier, Bishop of Quebec.<ref name="oldmobile1">Higginbotham, Jay. Old Mobile: Fort Louis de la Louisiane, 1702–1711, pages 106–107. Museum of the City of Mobile, 1977. ISBN 0-914334-03-4.</ref> The parish was the first established on the Gulf Coast of the United States.<ref name="oldmobile1"/> In 1704 the ship Pélican delivered 23 French women to the colony, along with yellow fever which passengers had contracted at a stop in Havana.<ref name="pelican">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city,pages 20–21. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> Though most of the "Pélican girls" recovered, numerous colonists and neighboring Native Americans died from the illness.<ref name="pelican"/> This early period was also the occasion of the arrival of the first African slaves, transported aboard a French supply ship from Saint-Domingue.<ref name="pelican"/> The population of the colony fluctuated over the next few years, growing to 279 persons by 1708, yet descending to 178 persons two years later due to disease.<ref name="oldmobile1"/>

Mobile and Fort Condé in 1725.

These additional outbreaks of disease and a series of floods caused Bienville to order the town relocated several miles downriver to its present location at the confluence of the Mobile River and Mobile Bay in 1711.<ref>Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city,pages 17–27. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> A new earth and palisade Fort Louis was constructed at the new site during this time.<ref name="MoMfort">"Other Locations: Historic Fort Conde" (history), Museum of Mobile, Mobile, Alabama, 2006</ref> By 1712, when Antoine Crozat took over administration of the colony by royal appointment, the colony boasted a population of 400 persons. The capital of Louisiana was moved to Biloxi in 1720,<ref name="MoMfort"/> leaving Mobile in the role of military and trading center. In 1723 the construction of a new brick fort with a stone foundation began<ref name="MoMfort"/> and it was renamed Fort Condé in honor of Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon and prince of Condé.<ref name="conde1">Template:Cite web</ref>

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the French and Indian War. The treaty ceded Mobile and the surrounding territory to Great Britain, and it was made a part of the expanded British West Florida colony.<ref name="setmob1">Template:Cite web</ref> The British changed the name of Fort Condé to Fort Charlotte, after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, King George III's queen.<ref name="setmob2">Template:Cite web</ref>

File:Fort Condé 2.jpg
Bastion of the Fort Condé reconstruction.

The British were eager not to lose any useful inhabitants and promised religious tolerance to the French colonists, ultimately 112 French Mobilians remained in the colony.<ref name="britmob1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile: the new history of Alabama's first city,pages 44–45. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> The first permanent Jewish presence in Mobile began in 1763 as a result of the new religious tolerance. Jews had not been allowed to officially reside in colonial French Louisiana due to the Code Noir, a decree passed by France's King Louis XIV in 1685 that forbade the exercise of any religion other than Roman Catholicism, and ordered all Jews out of France's colonies. Most of these colonial era Jews in Mobile were merchants and traders, and added to the commercial development of Mobile.<ref>Zietz, Robert (1994). The Gates of Heaven : Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim, the first 150 years, Mobile, Alabama, 1844–1994. Mobile, Alabama: Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim . pp7-39</ref> In 1766 the population was estimated to be 860, though the town's borders were smaller than they had been during the French colonial efforts.<ref name="britmob1"/> During the American Revolutionary War, West Florida and Mobile became a refuge for loyalists fleeing the other colonies.<ref name="storymobile1">Delaney, Caldwell. The Story of Mobile, page 45. Mobile, Alabama: Gill Press, 1953. ISBN 0-940882-14-0</ref>

While the British were dealing with their rebellious colonists along the Atlantic coast, the Spanish entered the war as an ally of France in 1779. They took the opportunity to order Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of Louisiana, on an expedition east to retake Florida.<ref name="barrancas">Template:Cite book</ref> He captured Mobile during the Battle of Fort Charlotte in 1780, as part of this campaign. The Spanish wished to eliminate any British threat to their Louisiana colony, which they had received from France in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.<ref name="storymobile1"/> Their actions were condoned by the revolting American colonies, partially evidenced by the presence of Oliver Pollack, representative of the American Continental Congress, and due to the fact that Mobile and West Florida, for the most part, remained loyal to the British Crown.<ref name="storymobile1"/><ref name="barrancas"/> The fort was renamed Fortaleza Carlota, with the Spanish holding Mobile as a part of Spanish West Florida until 1813, when it was seized by United States General James Wilkinson during the War of 1812.<ref name="wilkinson">Template:Cite web</ref>

19th century

File:Southern Hotel Water Street.jpg
HABS photo of the Southern Hotel on Water Street, completed in 1837. (destroyed during urban renewal)

By the time Mobile was included in the Mississippi Territory in 1813, the population had dwindled to roughly 300 people.<ref name="antebellum1">Template:Cite book</ref> The city was included in the Alabama Territory in 1817, after Mississippi gained statehood. Alabama was granted statehood in 1819; Mobile's population had increased to 809 by that time.<ref name="antebellum1"/> As the river frontage areas of Alabama and Mississippi were settled by farmers and the plantation economy became established, Mobile's population exploded. It came to be settled by merchants, attorneys, mechanics, doctors and others seeking to capitalize on trade with these upriver areas.<ref name="antebellum1"/> Mobile was well situated for trade, as its location tied it to a river system that served as the principal navigational access for most of Alabama and a large part of Mississippi. By 1822 the city's population was 2800.<ref name="antebellum1"/>

From the 1830s onward, Mobile expanded into a city of commerce with a primary focus on the cotton trade. A building boom was underway by the mid-1830s, with the building of some of the most elaborate structures the city had ever seen up to that point. This was cut short in part by the Panic of 1837 and yellow fever epidemics.<ref name="antebellum2">Template:Cite book</ref> The waterfront was developed with wharves, terminal facilities, and fireproof brick warehouses.<ref name="antebellum1"/> The exports of cotton grew in proportion to the amounts being produced in the Black Belt; by 1840 Mobile was second only to New Orleans in cotton exports in the nation.<ref name="antebellum1"/>

With the economy so focused on one crop, Mobile's fortunes were always tied to those of cotton, and the city weathered many financial crises.<ref name="antebellum1"/> Though Mobile had a relatively small slave-owning population compared to the inland plantation areas, it was the slave-trading center of the state until surpassed by Montgomery in the 1850s.<ref name="antebellum3">Template:Cite book</ref>

File:Steamer loading cotton in Mobile.jpg
Steamboats bound for inland Alabama and Mississippi being loaded at Mobile's dockyards.

By 1853, there were fifty Jewish families living in Mobile, including Philip Phillips, an attorney who was elected to the Alabama State Legislature and then to the United States Congress.<ref>Zietz, Robert (1994). The Gates of Heaven : Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim, the first 150 years, Mobile, Alabama, 1844–1994. Mobile, Alabama: Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim. pp. 7–39</ref> By 1860 Mobile's population within the city limits had reached 29,258 people; it was the 27th largest city in the United States and 4th largest in what would soon be the Confederate States of America.<ref name="1860cen">Template:Cite web</ref> The free population in the whole of Mobile County, including the city, consisted of 29,754 citizens, of which 1195 were free people of color.<ref name="pop1860">Template:Cite web</ref> Additionally, 1785 slave owners held 11,376 people in bondage, for a total county population of 41,130 people.<ref name="pop1860"/>

During the American Civil War, Mobile was a Confederate city. The first submarine to successfully sink an enemy ship, the H. L. Hunley, was built in Mobile.<ref name="Hunley">Template:Cite web</ref> One of the most famous naval engagements of the war was the Battle of Mobile Bay, resulting in the Union taking possession of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864.<ref name="newhist1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, page 113. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> On April 12, 1865, three days after the Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the city surrendered to the Union army to avoid destruction after the Union victories at adjacent Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely.<ref name="newhist1"/>

File:Mobile Cotton Exchange.jpg
Mobile Cotton Exchange and Chamber of Commerce building, completed in 1886.

On May 25, 1865, the city suffered great loss when some three hundred people died as a result of an explosion at a federal ammunition depot on Beauregard Street. The explosion left a Template:Convert deep hole at the depot's location, sunk ships docked on the Mobile River, and the resulting fires destroyed the northern portion of the city.<ref>Delaney, Caldwell. The Story of Mobile, pages 144–146. Mobile, Alabama: Gill Press, 1953. ISBN 0-940882-14-0</ref>

Federal Reconstruction in Mobile began after the Civil War and effectively ended in 1874 when the local Democrats gained control of the city government.<ref name="reconstruction1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, page 153. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> The last quarter of the 19th century was a time of economic depression and municipal insolvency for Mobile. One example can be provided by the value of Mobile's exports during this period of depression. The value of exports leaving the city fell from $9 million in 1878 to $3 million in 1882.<ref name="exports1878">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, page 145. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref>

20th century

File:Van Antwerp Building 1907.jpg
Van Antwerp Building, completed in 1907.

The turn of the 20th century brought the Progressive Era to Mobile and saw Mobile's economic structure evolve, along with a significant increase in population.<ref name="progress1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, pages 154–169. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> The population increased from around 40,000 in 1900 to 60,000 by 1920.<ref name="progress1"/> During this time the city received $3 million in federal grants for harbor improvements to deepen the shipping channels in the harbor.<ref name="progress1"/> During and after World War I, manufacturing became increasingly vital to Mobile's economic health, with shipbuilding and steel production being two of the most important.<ref name="progress1"/>

During this time, social justice and race relations in Mobile worsened, however.<ref name="progress1"/> In 1902 the city government passed Mobile's first segregation ordinance, one that segregated the city streetcars. It legislated what had been informal practice, enforced by convention.<ref name="progress1"/> Mobile's African-American population responded to this with a two-month boycott, but the law was not repealed.<ref name="progress1"/> After this, Mobile's de facto segregation was increasingly replaced with legislated segregation as whites imposed Jim Crow laws to maintain dominance.<ref name="progress1"/>

The red imported fire ant was first introduced into the United States via the Port of Mobile. Sometime in the late 1930s they came ashore off of South American cargo ships, where they lived in the soil used as ballast on those ships.<ref name="FireAnts"></ref>

File:Liberty ship at sea.jpg
A Liberty ship of the type built at Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company during World War II. 20 were completed in Mobile.
File:US T2 WW2 tanker Hat Creek.JPG
The SS Hat Creek, a T2 tanker completed by Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company in 1943. The company built 102 of these oil tankers during the war.

World War II led to a massive military effort causing a considerable increase in Mobile's population, largely due to the massive influx of workers coming to Mobile to work in the shipyards and at the Brookley Army Air Field.<ref name="thomason2">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, pages 213–217. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> Between 1940 and 1943, more than 89,000 people moved into Mobile to work for war effort industries.<ref name="thomason2"/> Mobile was one of eighteen United States cities producing Liberty ships. Its Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company (ADDSCO) supported the war effort by producing ships faster than the Axis powers could sink them. ADDSCO also churned out a copious number of T2 tankers for the War Department.<ref name="thomason2"/> Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation, a subsidiary of Waterman Steamship Corporation, focused on building freighters, Fletcher class destroyers, and minesweepers.<ref name="thomason2"/>

The years after World War II brought about changes in Mobile's social structure and economy. Replacing shipbuilding as a primary economic force, the paper and chemical industries began to expand, and most of the old military bases were converted to civilian uses. Following the war, African Americans stepped up their efforts to achieve equal rights and social justice. The police force and Spring Hill College were integrated during the 1950s. Unlike the rest of the state, buses and lunch counters had been voluntarily desegregated by the early 1960s.<ref name="thomason2"/>

In 1963 three African-American students brought a case against the Mobile County School Board for being denied admission to Murphy High School.<ref name="murphy1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, pages 260–261. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> The court ordered that the three students be admitted to Murphy for the 1964 school year, leading to the desegregation of Mobile County's school system.<ref name="murphy1"/> The Civil Rights Movement led to the end of legal racial segregation with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Mobile's economy was dealt a severe blow in 1969 with the closing of Brookley Air Force Base. The closing left 10% of the workforce without employment. This and other factors ushered in a period of economic depression that lasted through the 1970s.

File:Downtown Mobile 2008 03.JPG
Downtown in 2008, as seen from Cooper Riverside Park. Buildings include (L to R): Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, RSA–BankTrust Building, Arthur C. Outlaw Convention Center, and the RSA Battle House Tower.

The Alabama legislature passed the Cater Act in 1949 allowing cities and counties to set up industrial development boards (IDB) to issue municipal bonds as incentives to attract new industry into their local areas. The city of Mobile did not establish a Cater Act board until 1962. George E. McNally, Mobile's first Republican mayor since Reconstruction, was the driving force behind its creation. The existing Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, considering itself better qualified to attract new businesses and industry to the area, saw the new IDB as a serious rival. After several years of political squabbling, the Chamber of Commerce emerged victorious. While McNally's IDB prompted the Chamber of Commerce to become more proactive in attracting new industry, the chamber effectively shut Mobile city government out of economic development decisions.<ref>Bill Patterson, "The Founding of the Industrial Development Board of the City of Mobile: The Port City's Reluctant Use of Subsidies", Gulf South Historical Review 2000 15(2): 21–40,</ref>

Beginning in the late 1980s, newly elected mayor Mike Dow and the city council began an effort termed the "String of Pearls Initiative" to make Mobile into a competitive city.<ref name="progress2">Template:Cite web</ref> The city initiated construction of numerous new facilities and projects, and the restoration of hundreds of historic downtown buildings and homes.<ref name="progress2"/> City and county leaders also made efforts to attract new business ventures to the area.<ref name="progress3">Template:Cite web</ref>

Geography and climate

File:Ashland Place Mobile AL 05.JPG
A Tudor Revival-style house in Ashland Place.


Mobile is located at 30°40'46" North, 88°6'12" West (30.679523, −88.103280)Template:GR, in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of Template:Convert, with Template:Convert of it being land, and Template:Convert, or 26.1% of the total, being water.<ref name="census2000"> Template:Cite web</ref> The elevation in Mobile ranges from Template:Convert on Water Street in downtown<ref name="gnis"> Template:Cite web</ref> to Template:Convert at the Mobile Regional Airport.<ref name="elevationcham"> Template:Cite web</ref>


Mobile has a number of notable historic neighborhoods. These include Ashland Place, Campground, Church Street East, De Tonti Square, Leinkauf, Lower Dauphin Street, Midtown, Oakleigh Garden, Old Dauphin Way, and Spring Hill.<ref>Template:NRISref</ref><ref>Template:Gnis</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Mobile's geographical location on the Gulf of Mexico provides a mild subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), with hot, humid summers and mild, rainy winters. The record low temperature was Template:Convert, set on February 13, 1899, and the record high was Template:Convert, set on August 29, 2000.<ref name="Feb Averages">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Aug Averages">Template:Cite web</ref>

Flooding at the federal courthouse on Saint Joseph Street, three blocks from the waterfront, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A 2007 study by WeatherBill, Inc. determined that Mobile is the wettest city in the contiguous 48 states, with Template:Convert of average annual rainfall over a 30-year period.<ref name="weatherbill">Thompsen, Andrea (May 22, 2007) "Study Reveals Top 10 Wettest United States Cities."</ref> Mobile averages 120 days per year with at least Template:Convert of rain. Snow is rare in Mobile, with the last snowfall being on February 12, 2010.<ref name="nws">Template:Cite web</ref>

Mobile is occasionally affected by major tropical storms and hurricanes.<ref name="srg" /> Mobile suffered a major natural disaster on the night of September 12, 1979 when Category 3 Hurricane Frederic passed over the heart of the city. The storm caused tremendous damage to Mobile and the surrounding area.<ref name="hurricane1">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile had moderate damage from Hurricane Opal on October 4, 1995 and Hurricane Ivan on September 16, 2004.<ref name="HurIvan"> Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile also suffered millions of dollars in damage from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. A storm surge of Template:Convert, topped by higher waves, damaged eastern sections of the city with extensive flooding in downtown, the Battleship Parkway, and the elevated Jubilee Parkway.<ref name="HurKat">Template:Cite web</ref>

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Mobile is home to an array of cultural influences with its mixed French, Spanish, Creole and Catholic heritage, in addition to British and African, distinguishing it from all other cities in the state of Alabama. The annual Carnival celebration is perhaps the best illustration of this. Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States and has the oldest celebration, dating to the early 18th century during the French colonial period.<ref name=LOCgras>"Mardi Gras in Mobile" (history), Jeff Sessions, Senator, Library of Congress, 2006, webpage: LibCongress-2665</ref> Carnival in Mobile evolved over the course of 300 years from a beginning as a sedate French Catholic tradition into the mainstream multi-week celebration that today bridges a spectrum of cultures.<ref name="carnival4">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile's official cultural ambassadors are the Azalea Trail Maids, meant to embody the ideals of Southern hospitality.<ref name="azaleatrail">Template:Cite news</ref>

Carnival and Mardi Gras

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File:Mobile Order of Incas parade 03.jpg
Order of Inca night parade in 2009.

Carnival balls in the city may be scheduled as early as November, with the parades beginning after January 5.<ref name="mgrasfaqs">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="carnivalterminology">Template:Cite web</ref> Carnival celebrations end at midnight on Mardi Gras, signifying Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.<ref name="slacabamorinico">Template:Cite web</ref> In Mobile, locals often use the term Mardi Gras as a shorthand to refer to the entire Carnival season, although this is a misnomer. During the Carnival season the mystic societies build colorful floats and parade throughout downtown with masked society members tossing small gifts, known as throws, to parade spectators.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> The mystic societies, which in essence are exclusive private clubs, also give formal masquerade balls, usually invitation only, and oriented to adults.<ref name="carnivalterminology"/>

Mobile first celebrated Carnival in 1703 when colonial French settlers began the Old World celebration at the Old Mobile.<ref name="MMtime"/> Mobile's first Carnival society was established in 1711 with the Boeuf Gras Society (Fatted Ox Society).<ref name="CarnHist1">Template:Cite web</ref>

File:Mobile Mardi Gras 2010 48.jpg
Knights of Revelry parade on Royal Street in 2010.

In 1830 Mobile's Cowbellion de Rakin Society was the first formally organized and masked mystic society in the United States to celebrate with a parade.<ref name="MMtime"/><ref name="slacabamorinico"/> The Cowbellions got their start when Michael Krafft, a cotton factor from Pennsylvania, began a parade with rakes, hoes, and cowbells.<ref name="slacabamorinico"/> The Cowbellians introduced horse-drawn floats to the parades in 1840 with a parade entitled, "Heathen Gods and Goddesses".<ref name="CarnHist1"/> The Striker's Independent Society was formed in 1843 and is the oldest surviving mystic society in the United States.<ref name="CarnHist1"/>

Carnival celebrations in Mobile were canceled during the American Civil War. In 1866 Joe Cain revived the Mardi Gras parades when he paraded through the city streets on Fat Tuesday while costumed as a fictional Chickasaw chief named Slacabamorinico. He celebrated the day in front of the occupying Union Army troops.<ref name="JChist">

"Joe Cain Articles" (newspaper story),
Joe Danborn & Cammie East, Mobile Register, 2001, webpage:

</ref> The year 2002 saw Mobile's Tricentennial celebrated with parades that represented all of Mobile's mystic societies.<ref name="CarnHist1"/>

Archives and libraries

File:Mobile Public Library 2008.jpg
The Ben May Main Library on Government Street.

The National African American Archives and Museum features the history of African-American participation in Mardi Gras, authentic artifacts from the era of slavery, and portraits and biographies of famous African-Americans.<ref name="naaam">Template:Cite web</ref> The University of South Alabama Archives houses primary source material relating to the history of Mobile and southern Alabama, as well as the university's history. The archives are located on the ground floor of the USA Spring Hill Campus and are open to the general public.<ref name="usa1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Municipal Archives contains the extant records of the City of Mobile, dating from the city's creation as a municipality by the Mississippi Territory in 1814. The majority of the original records of Mobile's colonial history, spanning the years 1702 through 1813, are housed in Paris, London, Seville, and Madrid.<ref name="cmma1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Genealogical Society Library and Media Center is located at the Holy Family Catholic Church and School complex. It features handwritten manuscripts and published materials for use in genealogical research.<ref name="MGS library">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Public Library system serves Mobile and consists of eight branches across Mobile County, featuring its own large local history and genealogy division housed in a facility next to the newly restored and enlarged Ben May Main Library on Government Street.<ref name="mpl1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Saint Ignatius Archives, Museum and Theological Research Library contains primary sources, artifacts, documents, photographs and publications that pertain to the history of Saint Ignatius Church and School, the Catholic history of the city, and the history of the Roman Catholic Church.<ref name="siamt1">Template:Cite web</ref>

Arts and entertainment

File:Mobile Museum of Art by Highsmith.jpg
The Mobile Museum of Art in 2010.

The Mobile Museum of Art features permanent exhibits that span several centuries of art and culture. The museum was expanded in 2002 to approximately Template:Convert.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The permanent exhibits include the African and Asian Collection Gallery, Altmayer Gallery (American art), Katharine C. Cochrane Gallery of American Fine Art, Maisel European Gallery, Riddick Glass Gallery, Smith Crafts Gallery, and the Ann B. Hearin Gallery (contemporary works).<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The Centre for the Living Arts is an organization that operates the historic Saenger Theatre and Space 301, a contemporary art gallery. The Saenger Theatre opened in 1927 as a movie palace. Today it is a performing arts center and serves as a small concert venue for the city. It is home to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Scott Speck.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Space 301 Gallery and Studio was initially housed adjacent to the Saenger, but moved to its own space in 2008. The Template:Convert building, donated to the Centre by the Press-Register after its relocation to a new modern facility, underwent a $5.2 million renovation and redesign prior to opening.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

The Mobile Civic Center in 2007.

The Mobile Civic Center contains three facilities under one roof. The Template:Convert building has an arena, a theater and an exposition hall. It is the primary concert venue for the city and hosts a wide variety of events. It is home to the Mobile Opera and the Mobile Ballet.<ref name="srg"/> The 60-year old Mobile Opera averages about 1,200 attendees per performance.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> A wide variety of events are held at Mobile's Arthur C. Outlaw Convention Center. It contains a Template:Convert exhibit hall, a Template:Convert grand ballroom, and sixteen meeting rooms.<ref name="acocc1">Template:Cite web</ref>

The city hosts BayFest, an annual three-day music festival with more than 125 live musical acts on multiple stages spread throughout downtown.<ref name="bayfest1">Template:Cite web</ref> The event was attended by more than 200,000 people and generated in excess of $38 million for the city's economy during its 2011 season.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

The Mobile Theatre Guild is a nonprofit community theatre that has served the city since 1947. It is a member of the Mobile Arts Council, the Alabama Conference of Theatre and Speech, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and the American Association of Community Theatres.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile is also host to the Joe Jefferson Players, Alabama's oldest continually-running community theatre. The group was named in honor of the famous comedic actor Joe Jefferson, who spend part of his teenage years in Mobile. The Players debuted their first production on December 17, 1947.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>



Mobile is home to a variety of museums. Battleship Memorial Park is a military park on the shore of Mobile Bay and features the World War II era battleship Template:USS, the World War II era submarine Template:USS, Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials, and a variety of historical military equipment.<ref name="battleship">Template:Cite web</ref> The History Museum of Mobile showcases 300 plus years of Mobile history and prehistory. It is housed in the historic Old City Hall (1857), a National Historic Landmark.<ref name="southernmarket">Template:Cite web</ref> The Oakleigh Historic Complex features three house museums that attempt to interpret the lives of people from three strata of 19th century society in Mobile, that of the enslaved, the working class, and the upper class.<ref name="Oakleigh">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Carnival Museum, housing the city's Mardi Gras history and memorabilia, documents the variety of floats, costumes, and displays seen during the history of the festival season.<ref>Andrews, Casandra, Master of make-Believe, Press Register, Mobile, Alabama: January 28, 2007.</ref> The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion (1855), Richards DAR House (1860), and the Condé-Charlotte House (1822) are historic, furnished antebellum house museums.<ref name="bmm1">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="rdarhm1">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="ccmh1">Template:Cite web</ref> Fort Morgan (1819), Fort Gaines (1821), and Historic Blakeley State Park all figure predominantly in local American Civil War history.<ref name=nris2>Template:NRISref</ref>

File:Vincent-Doan House.jpg
The Vincent-Doan House, home to the Mobile Medical Museum. It is one of the oldest surviving houses in the city.

The Mobile Medical Museum is housed in the historic French colonial-style Vincent-Doan House (1827). It features artifacts and resources that chronicle the long history of medicine in Mobile.<ref name="mmm1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Phoenix Fire Museum is located in the restored Phoenix Volunteer Fire Company Number 6 building and features the history of fire companies in Mobile from their organization in 1838.<ref name="pfm1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Police Department Museum features exhibits that chronicle the history of law enforcement in Mobile.<ref name="mpdm1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is a non-profit science center located in downtown. It features permanent and traveling exhibits, an IMAX dome theater, a digital 3D virtual theater, and a hands-on chemistry laboratory.<ref name="exploreum">Template:Cite web</ref> The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located south of the city, on Dauphin Island near the mouth of Mobile Bay. It houses the Estuarium, an aquarium which illustrates the four habitats of the Mobile Bay ecosystem: the river delta, bay, barrier islands and Gulf of Mexico.<ref name="nytimes">Template:Cite news</ref>Template:-

Parks and other attractions

The Mobile Botanical Gardens feature a variety of flora spread over Template:Convert. It contains the Millie McConnell Rhododendron Garden with 1,000 evergreen and native azaleas and the Template:Convert Longleaf Pine Habitat.<ref name="botanicalgard">Template:Cite web</ref> Bellingrath Gardens and Home, located on Fowl River, is a Template:Convert botanical garden and historic Template:Convert mansion that dates to the 1930s.<ref name="bellingrathgard">Template:Cite web</ref> The 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center is a facility that allows visitors to learn about and access the Mobile, Tensaw, Apalachee, Middle, Blakeley, and Spanish rivers.<ref name="5 Rivers">Template:Cite web</ref> It was established to serve as an easily accessible gateway to the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta.<ref name="5 Rivers Facilities">Template:Cite web</ref> In addition to offering several boat and adventure tours, it contains a small theater; exhibit hall; meeting facilities; walking trails; a canoe and kayak landing.<ref name="5RDS">Template:Cite web</ref>

Mobile has more than 45 public parks within its limits, with some that are of special note.<ref name="parksmob">Template:Cite web</ref> Bienville Square is a historic park in the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District. It assumed its current form in 1850 and is named for Mobile's founder, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.<ref>Delaney, Caldwell. The Story of Mobile,page 79. Mobile, Alabama: Gill Press, 1953.</ref> It was once a principal gathering place for the citizens of the city and remains popular today. Cathedral Square is a one-block performing arts park, also in the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District, that is overlooked by the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.<ref name="mainstreet">Template:Cite web</ref> Fort Conde is a reconstruction of the city's original Fort Condé, built on the original fort's footprint. It serves as the official welcome center and colonial-era living history museum.<ref name="MoMfort"/> Spanish Plaza is a downtown park that honors the Spanish phase of the city between 1780 and 1813. It features the "Arches of Friendship", a fountain presented to Mobile by the city of Málaga, Spain.<ref name="spanplaza">Template:Cite web</ref> Langan Park, the largest of the parks at Template:Convert, features lakes, natural spaces, and contains the Mobile Museum of Art, Azalea City Golf Course, Mobile Botanical Gardens and Playhouse in the Park.<ref name="parksmob"/><ref name="parksmob"/>

Historic architecture

Mobile has antebellum architectural examples of Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Creole cottage. Later architectural styles found in the city include the various Victorian types, shotgun types, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Beaux-Arts and many others. The city currently has nine major historic districts consisting of Old Dauphin Way, Oakleigh Garden, Lower Dauphin Street, Leinkauf, De Tonti Square, Church Street East, Ashland Place, Campground, and Midtown.<ref name="nris2"/>

Mobile has a number of historic structures spread throughout the city. Some of Mobile's historic churches include Christ Church Cathedral, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Emanuel AME Church, Government Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis Street Missionary Baptist Church, State Street AME Zion Church, Stone Street Baptist Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Francis Street Methodist Church, Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Saint Matthew's Catholic Church, Saint Paul's Episcopal Chapel, and Saint Vincent de Paul. The Sodality Chapel and St. Joseph's Chapel at Spring Hill College are two historic churches on that campus. Two historic Roman Catholic convents survive, the Convent and Academy of the Visitation and the Convent of Mercy.<ref name="nris2"/>

Barton Academy is a historic Greek Revival school building and local landmark on Government Street. The Bishop Portier House and the Carlen House are two of the many surviving examples of Creole cottages in the city. The Mobile City Hospital and the United States Marine Hospital are both restored Greek Revival hospital buildings that predate the Civil War. The Washington Firehouse No. 5 is a Greek Revival fire station, built in 1851. The Hunter House is an example of the Italianate style and was built by a successful 19th century African American businesswoman. The Shepard House is a good example of the Queen Anne style. The Scottish Rite Temple is the only surviving example of Egyptian Revival architecture in the city. The Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Passenger Terminal is an example of the Mission Revival style.<ref name="nris2"/>

File:Mobile Marine Hospital 02.JPG
The old United States Marine Hospital, restored and adapted for reuse by the Mobile County Health Department.

The city has several historic cemeteries that were established shortly after the colonial era. They replaced the colonial Campo Santo, of which no trace remains. The Church Street Graveyard contains above-ground tombs and monuments spread over Template:Convert and was founded in 1819, during the height of yellow fever epidemics.<ref name="Sledge">Template:Cite journal</ref> The nearby Template:Convert Magnolia Cemetery was established in 1836 and served as Mobile's primary burial site during the 19th and early 20th centuries, with approximately 80,000 burials.<ref name="magnoliacem">Template:Cite web</ref> It features tombs and many intricately carved monuments and statues.<ref name="Sledge2">Template:Cite book</ref><ref name="magnoliamob">Template:Cite web</ref> The Catholic Cemetery was established in 1848 by the Archdiocese of Mobile and covers more than Template:Convert. It contains plots for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Charity, and Sisters of Mercy, in addition to many other historically significant burials.<ref name="sledge3">Template:Cite book</ref> Mobile's Jewish community dates back to the 1820s and the city has two historic Jewish cemeteries, Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery and Ahavas Chesed Cemetery. Sha'arai Shomayim is the oldest of the two.<ref name="Sledge4">Template:Cite book</ref>


Template:Historical populations

File:Mobile US Census 20 miles.gif
Map showing the city's average number of inhabitants per square mile of land in 2000.

The 2010 United States Census determined that there were 195,111 people residing within the city limits of Mobile.<ref name="2010census">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile is the center of Alabama's second-largest metropolitan area, which consists of all of Mobile County. Metropolitan Mobile had a population of 412,992 as of 2010 census.

The 2010 census indicated that there were 78,959 households, out of which 21,073 had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28,073 were married couples living together, 17,037 had a female householder with no husband present, 3,579 had a male householder with no wife present, and 30,270 were non-families.<ref name="2010census"/> 25,439 of all households were made up of individuals and 8,477 had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older.<ref name="2010census"/> The racial makeup of the city was 50.6% Black or African American, 45.0% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, 1.4% from two or more races, and 2.4% of the population were Latino.<ref name="2010census"/> Non-Hispanic Whites were 43.9% of the population in 2010,<ref name="2006-2010">Template:Cite web</ref> down from 62.1% in 1980.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The average household size was 2.4% and the average family size was 3.07%.<ref name="2010census"/> Estimated same-sex couple households comprised 0.9% of all households in 2000.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The population in 2010 was spread out with 6.7% under the age of 5, 75.9% over 18, and 13.7% over 65.<ref name="2010census"/> The median age was 35.7 years.<ref name="2010census"/> The male population was 47.0% and the female population was 53.0%.<ref name="2010census"/> The median income for a household in the city was $37,056 for 2006 to 2010. The per capita income for the city was $22,401.<ref name="2006-2010"/>


Template:See also

File:US Navy 110325-N-UH963-159 Secretary of Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus tours the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.jpg
Mayor Jones (third from left) along with United States Represenative Jo Bonner, Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rella, the Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus, and Alabama's United States Senator Jeff Sessions during a tour of Austal USA in 2011.

Since 1985 the government of Mobile has consisted of a mayor and a seven member city council.<ref name="Cityofficials1">Template:Cite web</ref> The mayor is elected at-large and the council members are elected from each of the seven city council districts. A supermajority of five votes is required to conduct council business. This form of city government was chosen by the voters after the previous form of government, which used three city commissioners who were elected at-large, was ruled to substantially dilute the minority vote in the 1975 case Bolden v. City of Mobile.<ref name="gov1">Thomason, Michael. Mobile : the new history of Alabama's first city, pages 272–273. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8173-1065-7</ref> Municipal elections are held every four years.

File:Government Plaza Mobile.JPG
Government Plaza in Mobile, seat of government for the city and the county.

The current mayor, Sam Jones, was elected in 2005 as the first African American mayor of Mobile. He was re-elected for a second term in 2009 without opposition.<ref name="sammayor">Template:Cite news</ref> He is currently running for a third term in 2013.

Since November 2, 2010, the seven member city council has been made up of Fredrick Richardson, Jr. from District 1, William Carroll from District 2, Jermaine A. Burrell from District 3, John C. Williams from District 4, Reggie Copeland, Sr. from District 5, Bess Rich from District 6, and Gina Gregory from District 7. Reggie Copeland, Sr. is currently serving as Council President with Fredrick Richardson, Jr. serving as Council Vice President.<ref name="citycouncil">Template:Cite web</ref>

In January 2008, the city hired EDSA, an urban design firm, to create a new comprehensive master plan for the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. The planning area is bordered on the east by the Mobile River, to the south by Interstate 10 and Duval Street, to the west by Houston Street and to the north by Three Mile Creek and the neighborhoods north of Martin Luther King Avenue.<ref name="edsa">Template:Cite web</ref>


Public facilities

Public schools in Mobile are operated by the Mobile County Public School System. The Mobile County Public School System has an enrollment of over 65,000 students, employs approximately 8,500 public school employees, and had a budget in 2005–2006 of $617,162,616.<ref name="mcpss">Template:Cite web</ref> The State of Alabama operates the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science on Dauphin Street in Mobile, which boards advanced Alabama high school students. It was founded in 1989 to identify, challenge, and educate future leaders.<ref name="asms">Template:Cite web</ref>

Private facilities

Mobile also has a large number of private schools, most of them being parochial in nature. Many of these belong to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile. The private Catholic institutions include McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (1896), Corpus Christi School, Little Flower Catholic School (1934), Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic School (1900), Saint Dominic School (1961), Saint Ignatius School (1952), Saint Mary Catholic School (1867), Saint Pius X Catholic School (1957), and Saint Vincent DePaul Catholic School (1976).<ref name="mpsr1">Template:Cite web</ref> Notable private Protestant institutions include St. Paul's Episcopal School (1947), Mobile Christian School (1961), St. Lukes Episcopal School (1961), Cottage Hill Baptist School System (1961), Faith Academy (1967), and Trinity Lutheran School (1955).<ref name="mpsr1"/> UMS-Wright Preparatory School (1893) is an independent, non-religious, co-educational preparatory school.<ref name="mpsr1"/>


Primary and secondary

Major colleges and universities in Mobile that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools include the University of South Alabama, Spring Hill College, the University of Mobile,Faulkner University, and Bishop State Community College.<ref name="college1">Template:Cite web</ref>

Undergraduate and postgraduate

The University of South Alabama is a public, doctoral-level university established in 1963. The university is composed of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Mitchell College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Medicine, the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, the College of Nursing, the School of Computing, and the School of Continuing Education and Special Programs.<ref name="usa2">Template:Cite web</ref>

Faulkner University is a four-year private Church of Christ-affiliated university based in Montgomery, Alabama. The Mobile campus was established in 1975 and offers bachelor's degrees in Business Administration, Management of Human Resources, and Criminal Justice.<ref name="faulkner1">Template:Cite web</ref> It also offers associate degrees in Business Administration, Business Information Systems, Computer & Information Science, Criminal Justice, Informatics, Legal Studies, Arts, and Science.<ref name="faulkner2">Template:Cite web</ref>

Spring Hill College, chartered in 1830, was the first Catholic college in the southeastern United States and is the third oldest Jesuit college in the country.<ref name="springhill1">Template:Cite web</ref> This four-year private college offers graduate programs in Business Administration, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing (MSN), and Theological Studies.<ref name="springhill2">Template:Cite web</ref> Undergraduate divisions and programs include the Division of Business, the Communications/Arts Division, International Studies, Inter-divisional Studies, the Language and Literature Division, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Philosophy and Theology, Political Science, the Sciences Division, the Social Sciences Division, and the Teacher Education Division.<ref name="springhill3">Template:Cite web</ref>

The University of Mobile is a four-year private Baptist-affiliated university that was founded in 1961. It consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Christian Studies, School of Education, the School of Leadership Development, and the School of Nursing.<ref name="univmob1">Template:Cite web</ref>

Community college

Bishop State Community College, founded in 1927, is a public, historically African American, community college. Bishop State has four campuses in Mobile and offers a wide array of associate degrees.<ref name="bishop1">Template:Cite web</ref>


Several post-secondary, vocational-type institutions have a campus in Mobile. These include the Alabama Institute Of Real Estate, American Academy Of Hypnosis, Bealle School Of Real Estate, Charles Academy Of Beauty Culture, Fortis College, Virginia College, ITT Technical Institute, Remington College and White And Sons Barber College.<ref name="college1"/>


File:Mobile Infirmary front facade.jpg
Mobile Infirmary Medical Center in 2009.
File:Providence Hospital Mobile 01.jpg
Providence Hospital in 2009.

Mobile serves the central Gulf Coast as a regional center for medicine, with over 850 physicians and 175 dentists. There are four major medical centers within the city limits.

Mobile Infirmary Medical Center has 704 beds and is the largest nonprofit hospital in the state. It was founded in 1910. Providence Hospital has 349 beds. It was founded in 1854 by the Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Maryland. The University of South Alabama Medical Center has 346 beds. Its roots go back to 1830 with the old city-owned Mobile City Hospital and associated medical school. A teaching hospital, it has Mobile’s only level I trauma center and regional burn center. Springhill Medical Center, with 252 beds, was founded in 1975. It is Mobile's only for-profit facility.<ref name="mobchamber3">Template:Cite web</ref>

Additionally, the University of South Alabama operates the University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital with 219 beds, dedicated exclusively to the care of women and minors.<ref name="mobchamber3"/> In 2008, the University of South Alabama opened the USA Mitchell Cancer Center Institute. The center is home to the first academic cancer research center in the central Gulf Coast region.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Mobile Infirmary Medical Center operated Infirmary West, formerly Knollwood Hospital, with 100 acute care beds, but closed the facility at the end of October 2012 due to declining revenues.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

BayPointe Hospital and Children's Residential Services, with 94-beds, is the only psychiatric hospital in the city. It houses a residential unit for children, an acute unit for children and adolescents, and an age-segregated involuntary hospital unit for adults undergoing evaluation ordered by the Mobile Probate Court.<ref name="baypointe">Template:Cite web</ref>

The city has a broad array of outpatient surgical centers, emergency clinics, home health care services, assisted-living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.<ref name="mobchamber3"/><ref name="nursing homes">Template:Cite web</ref>


File:Mobile River at Chickasaw Creek.jpg
Port of Mobile at Chickasaw Creek.

Aerospace, steel, ship building, retail, services, construction, medicine, and manufacturing are Mobile's major industries. After experiencing economic decline for several decades, Mobile's economy began to rebound in the late 1980s. Between 1993 and 2003 roughly 13,983 new jobs were created as 87 new companies were founded and 399 existing companies were expanded.<ref name="MobEconomy">Template:Cite web</ref>

Defunct companies that were founded or based in Mobile included Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company, Delchamps, and Gayfers.<ref name=bizjournal>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="delchamps">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Flottes-Gayfers">Template:Cite web</ref> Current companies that were formerly based in the city include Checkers, Minolta-QMS, Morrison's, and the Waterman Steamship Corporation.<ref name="checkers">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In additional to those discussed below, AlwaysHD, Foosackly's, Integrity Media, and Volkert, Inc. are currently headquartered out of Mobile.<ref name="alwayshd">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="foosack">Template:Cite news</ref><ref>David C. Cook Acquires Integrity Music. The Hard Music Magazine Magazine, June 2011.</ref><ref name="volkerthistory">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:-


The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the unemployment rate for the Mobile Metropolitan Statistical Area at 8.5% for September 2012, compared with a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.6% for Alabama as a whole.<ref name="labor1">{{cite web|title=Local Area Unemployment Statistics – Alabama|work="Bureau of Labor Statistics"|url= 23, 2012}</ref>

Major industry

File:Port of Mobile.jpg
Container cranes at the Alabama State Docks in Mobile.
File:ThyssenKrupp Steel USA in Calvert, Alabama.jpg
The ThyssenKrupp steel facility in north of Mobile.

Port of Mobile

Mobile's Alabama State Docks underwent the largest expansion in its history by expanding its container processing and storage facility and increasing container storage at the docks by over 1,000% at a cost of over $300 million, thus positioning Mobile for rapid container processing growth.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Despite the expansion of its container capabilities and the addition of two massive new cranes, the port went from 9th largest to the 12th largest by tonnage in the nation from 2008 to 2010.<ref name="port"/><ref name="ports2">Template:Cite web</ref>


Shipbuilding began to make a major comeback in Mobile in 1999 with the founding of Austal USA.<ref name="colton1">Template:Cite web</ref> A subsidiary of the Australian company Austal, it expanded its production facility for United States defense and commercial aluminum shipbuilding on Blakeley Island in 2005.<ref name="austal">Template:Cite web</ref> Austal announced in October 2012, after winning a new defense contract and completing another Template:Convert building within their complex on the island, that it will expand from a workforce of 3,000 workers to 4,500 employees.<ref name="austal2012">Template:Cite news</ref>

Atlantic Marine operated a major shipyard at the former Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company site on Pinto Island. It was acquired by British defense conglomerate BAE Systems in May 2010 for $352 million. Doing business as BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, the company continues to operate the site as a full-service shipyard, employing approximately 600 workers with plans to expand.<ref name="us2010">Template:Cite news</ref><ref name=bizjournal>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=bae1>Template:Cite web</ref>

Brookley Aeroplex

The Brookley Aeroplex is an industrial complex and airport located Template:Convert south of the central business district of the city. It is currently the largest industrial and transportation complex in the region with over 70 companies, many of which are aerospace, spread over Template:Convert.<ref name="overview">Template:Cite web</ref> Notable employers at Brookley include Airbus North America Engineering (Airbus Military North America's facilities are at the Mobile Regional Airport), ST Aerospace Mobile (a division of ST Engineering), and Continental Motors.<ref name="tenants">Template:Cite web</ref>

Plans for a Mobile aircraft assembly plant were formally announced by Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier from the Mobile Convention Center on July 2, 2012. The plans include a $600 million factory at the Brookley Aeroplex for the assembly of the A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, all part of Airbus A320 family. It could employ up to 1,000 full-time workers when operational. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, with it becoming operable by 2015 and producing up to 50 aircraft per year by 2017.<ref name="apconfirm">Template:Cite news</ref><ref name="bbcconfirm">Template:Cite news</ref> The assembly plant is the company's first factory to be built within the United States.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


German technology conglomorate ThyssenKrupp broke ground on a $4.65 billion combined stainless and carbon steel processing facility in Calvert, a few miles north of Mobile, in 2007. It was originally projected to eventually employ 2,700 people. The facility became operational in July 2010.<ref name="thyssenkrupp">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Cloos, Paul. Mobile County wins ThyssenKrupp plant Press-Register May 11, 2007.</ref>

The company put its carbon mill in Calvert and a steel slab-making unit in Rio de Janeiro both up for sale in May 2012, citing rising production costs and a worldwide decrease in demand.<ref name="thyss1">Template:Cite news</ref> ThyssenKrupp's stainless steel division, Inoxum, including the stainless portion of the Calvert plant, was sold to Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu Oyi in 2012.<ref name="thyss2">Template:Cite news</ref>

Top employers

According to Mobile's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city during 2011 were:<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="austal2012"/>

Rank Employer Number of</br>employees Percentage of</br>total employment
1 Mobile County Public School System 7,795 4.58%
2 Infirmary Health Systems 5,460 3.21%
3 University of South Alabama 5,300 3.12%
4 Walmart 2,920 1.72%
5 Austal USA 3,000 1.47%
6 Providence Hospital 2,350 1.38%
7 City of Mobile 2,100 1.23%
8 ST Aerospace Mobile 1,500 0.88%
9 County of Mobile 1,460 0.86%
10 Springhill Medical Center 1,320 0.78%



File:Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad station.jpg
The old Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Passenger Terminal houses the Mobile Area Transportation Authority.
File:George Wallace Tunnel 02.jpg
Interior of the eastbound George Wallace Tunnel under the Mobile River.

Local airline passengers are served by the Mobile Regional Airport, with direct connections to five major hub airports.<ref name="maa1">Template:Cite web</ref> It is served by American Eagle Airlines, with service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; United Express, with service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Delta Connection, with service to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Memphis International Airport; and US Airways Express, with service to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.<ref name="maa1"/> The Mobile Downtown Airport at the Brookley Aeroplex serves corporate, cargo, and private aircraft.<ref name="maa1"/>


Mobile is served by four Class I railroads, including the Canadian National Railway (CNR), CSX Transportation (CSX), the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS), and the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS).<ref name="mobilechamber">Template:Cite web</ref> The Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway (AGR), a Class III railroad, links Mobile to the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) at Amory, Mississippi. These converge at the Port of Mobile, which provides intermodal freight transport service to companies engaged in importing and exporting. Other railroads include the CG Railway (CGR), a rail ship service to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and the Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks (TASD), a switching railroad.<ref name="mobilechamber"/> The city was served by Amtrak's Sunset Limited passenger train service until 2005, when the service was suspended due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.<ref name="Amtrak1">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Amtrak2">Template:Cite web</ref>


Two major interstate highways and a spur converge in Mobile. Interstate 10 runs northeast to southwest across the city while Interstate 65 starts in Mobile at Interstate 10 and runs north. Interstate 165 connects to Interstate 65 north of the city in Prichard and joins Interstate 10 in downtown Mobile.<ref name="roads1">Template:Cite web</ref> Mobile is well served by many major highway systems. United States Highways US 31, US 43, US 45, US 90 and US 98 radiate from Mobile traveling east, west, and north. Mobile has three routes east across the Mobile River and Mobile Bay into neighboring Baldwin County, Alabama. Interstate 10 leaves downtown through the George Wallace Tunnel under the river and then over the bay across the Jubilee Parkway to Spanish Fort and Daphne. US 98 leaves downtown through the Bankhead Tunnel under the river, onto Blakeley Island, and then over the bay across the Battleship Parkway into Spanish Fort, Alabama. US 90 travels over the Cochrane–Africatown USA Bridge to the north of downtown onto Blakeley Island where it becomes co-routed with US 98.<ref name="roads1"/>

Mobile's public transportation is the Wave Transit System which features buses with 18 fixed routes and neighborhood service.<ref name="buses">Template:Cite web</ref> Baylinc is a public transportation bus service provided by the Baldwin Rural Transit System in cooperation with the Wave Transit System that provides service between eastern Baldwin County and downtown Mobile. Baylinc operates Monday through Friday.<ref name="baylinc">Template:Cite web</ref> Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service between Mobile and many locations throughout the United States. Mobile is served by several taxi and limousine services.<ref name="guide1">Template:Cite web</ref>


File:Alabama Cruise Terminal Mobile Alabama.jpg
The now unused Alabama Cruise Terminal.

The Port of Mobile has public, deepwater terminals with direct access to Template:Convert of inland and intracoastal waterways serving the Great Lakes, the Ohio and Tennessee river valleys (via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway), and the Gulf of Mexico.<ref name="mobilechamber"/> The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the public terminals at the Port of Mobile.<ref name="mobilechamber"/> The public terminals handle containerized, bulk, breakbulk, roll-on/roll-off, and heavy-lift cargoes.<ref name="mobilechamber"/> The port is also home to private bulk terminal operators, as well as a number of highly specialized shipbuilding and repair companies with two of the largest floating dry docks on the Gulf Coast.<ref name="mobilechamber"/>

The city was formerly a home port for cruise ships from Carnival Cruise Lines.<ref></ref> The first cruise ship to call the port home was the Holiday, which left the city in November 2009 so that a larger and newer ship could take its place. The Carnival Fantasy operated from Mobile from then until the Carnival Elation arrived in May 2010.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> In early 2011, Carnival announced that despite fully booked cruises the company would cease operations from Mobile in October 2011. This cessation of cruise service left the city with an annual debt service of around two million dollars related to the terminal.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Template:See also


Mobile's Press-Register is Alabama's oldest active newspaper, first published in 1813.<ref name="NHreg">"Newhouse News Service – The Press-Register" (description), Newhouse News Service, 2007, webpage:NH-Register. </ref> The paper focuses on Mobile and Baldwin counties and the city of Mobile, but also serves southwestern Alabama and southeastern Mississippi.<ref name="NHreg"/> Mobile's alternative newspaper is the Lagniappe.<ref name="lagniappe1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile area's local magazine is Mobile Bay Monthly.<ref name="mbmonthly1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mobile Beacon is an alternative focusing on the African-American communities of Mobile. Mod Mobilian is a website with a focus on cultured-living in Mobile.<ref name="ModMobilian">Template:Cite web</ref>


Mobile is served locally by a number of over-the-air television stations. These include WKRG 5 (CBS), WALA 10 (Fox), WPMI 15 (NBC), WMPV 21 (religious), WDPM 23 (religious), WEIQ 42 (PBS), and WFNA 55 (CW).<ref name="tv1">Template:Cite web</ref> The region is also served by WEAR 3 (ABC), WSRE 31 (PBS), WHBR 34 (religious), WFGX 35 (MyNetworkTV), WJTC 44 (independent), WFBD 48 (America One), WPAN 53 (Jewelry Television), and WAWD 58 (independent), all out of the Pensacola, Florida area.<ref name="tv1"/> Mobile is part of the Mobile–Pensacola–Fort Walton Beach designated market area, as defined by Nielsen Media Research. It ranked 61st in the nation for the 2007–08 television season.<ref name="tv2">Template:Cite web</ref>


Fourteen FM radio stations transmit from Mobile: WAVH, WBHY, WBLX, WDLT, WHIL, WKSJ, WKSJ-HD2, WLVM, WMXC, WMXC-HD2, WQUA, WRKH, WRKH-HD2, and WZEW . Nine AM radio stations transmit from Mobile: WBHY, WGOK, WIJD, WLPR, WMOB, WNGL, WNTM, WTKD, and WXQW. The content ranges from Christian Contemporary to Hip hop to Top 40.<ref name="radio1">Template:Cite web</ref> Arbitron ranks Mobile's radio market as 93rd in the United States as of autumn 2007.<ref name="radio2">Template:Cite web</ref>


File:Mitchell center north entrance.jpg
Entrance to the Mitchell Center at the University of South Alabama.

Template:See also


Mobile is the home of Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The football stadium opened in 1948. With a current capacity of 40,646, Ladd-Peebles Stadium is the 4th largest stadium in the state.<ref name="ladd">Template:Cite web</ref>

Ladd-Peebles Stadium has been home to the Senior Bowl since 1951, featuring the best college seniors in NCAA football.<ref name="srbowl">Template:Cite web</ref>

The Bowl, originally known as the Mobile Alabama Bowl and later the GMAC Bowl, has been played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium since 1999. It features opponents from the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA.<ref name="gmacbowl">Template:Cite web</ref>

Since 1988, Ladd-Peebles Stadium has hosted the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. The top graduating high school seniors from their respective states compete each June.<ref name="AMall-star">Template:Cite web</ref>

The University of South Alabama in Mobile established a football team in 2007, which went undefeated in its 2009 inaugural season. Their program will move to Division I/FBS in 2013 as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. It is currently played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.<ref name="football">Template:Cite web</ref>


Mobile's Hank Aaron Stadium is the home of the Mobile BayBears minor league baseball team.<ref name="baybears1">Template:Cite web</ref> South Alabama baseball also has a proud tradition, producing professional stars such as Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre, Jon Lieber, Adam Lind, and David Freese.


South Alabama basketball is a respected mid-major, regularly competing for the Sun Belt Conference championship. They play their home games at the Mitchell Center.

Other sports and facilities

The public Mobile Tennis Center includes over 50 courts, all lighted and hard-court.<ref name="Tennis">Template:Cite web</ref>

For golfers, Magnolia Grove, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, has 36 holes. The Falls course was recently named the best par 3 course in America.<ref name="rtj">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions was played annually at Magnolia Grove from 1999 through 2007. The Mobile Bay LPGA Classic took its place in 2008, also held at Mobile's Magnolia Grove.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Mobile is home to the Azalea Trail Run, which races through historic midtown and downtown Mobile. This 10k run has been an annual event since 1978.<ref name="com">Template:Cite web</ref> The Azalea Trail Run is one of the premier 10k road races in the United States, attracting runners from all over the world.<ref name="vulcan">Template:Cite web</ref>

Sister cities

Mobile has registered sister city arrangements with the following cities:<ref name="sistercity">Template:Cite web</ref> Template:Columns-list

See also


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